After winding our way through some shady looking parts of London, we finally made it to our hotel. As it turns out our cab driver was not a murderer after all. In fact, he turned out to be a rather nice gentleman. After retrieving our bags from the trunk of his car, in which there were no dead bodies, we walked inside the hotel. Check in was quick and we set off for our room. Once inside, neither one of us could figure out how to turn the lights on until Amanda discovered that we needed to put our key card into a slot, which enabled the lights to operate. By this time both of us had been awake for several hours. However, due to the change in time it was not easy to get to sleep, as we both were still on Illinois time and were excited about our adventure. Despite this we each climbed into our single bed and drifted off to sleep. We had finally made it to London and now we were in a 1950’s sitcom, each of us snuggled in our own single bed.
Waking up the next day feeling not so refreshed, Amanda and I caught a bus that would take us back to the airport so that we could catch our train into Chelsea, which is the part of London where we would be staying for the next few nights. Not realizing that we needed bus fare for the ride, we both climbed aboard where the driver explained that this was not a free shuttle service to the airport. However, being very kind, he let us both ride for free back to the airport. This act of kindness was the first of many that we’d experience in England and Ireland.
On our way back to the airport we finally saw the area by the light of day. It actually did not appear as menacing as it had the night before. In fact, you could say parts of it were rather idyllic as there were sheep grazing in a pasture along the way. This was certainly no place for a gangland style murder.
After about 30 minutes we arrived back at the airport where we thanked our driver for the free ride, exchanged some currency, and made our way to the tube station at Heathrow. Getting to Chelsea required a few transfers from one train line to another, however, things were well marked and we had lots of friendly people helping to direct us to the correct platforms and stops. We finally made it to Chelsea and found that our hotel was approximately 200 yards or so from where we got off of the train, which was great because we both were pretty exhausted at this point. Upon checking in, we found that the wheelchair that we had rented for our trip had arrived. This wheelchair would play such an important role while were we traveling, and to this day it is a mystery as to whether or not it made its way back to its rightful owner. However, that is a story for another section of this series.