The trip over to London is uneventful, we arrive safely and quickly get thru customs and immigration. We arrived to find our happy face of the tour manager Jordy waiting for us. Since our arrival was early in the am, the plan was to go to Covent garden first for a quick walk and a bite to eat. This area is theatre district and we will be returning here on the 4 th to see Mamma Mia. It was good to have a stretch and sample a English meat pie.
Back on the bus (We got a brand new coach - literally this is the first tour) for a bus tour of the London. We got the highlights: Big Ben and London bridge, Tower of London, the London eye, the gherkin, the razor, the monument. I believe there was a bit more but I couldn't hear, perhaps it was because I was catching some zees😜
Check in was around 3 and the hotel was ready for us. Jordy had us complete info on the coach so that we could be speedily expedited into the rooms. The royal national hotel can only be classified as Spartan class hotel. The rooms are modest and not the cleanest ( a hair or two in the washroom, dirty sock from someone else by the bed and the glassware looks suspicious. Last year there was wifi set up in the lobby and the place was a hub of activity. Not so this year. Wifi is only available in the pub and then the signal is only strong later in the day. It seems that free and wifi are not synonymous in London at all.
Most of us go out to for dinner to Shoreditch neighbourhood for a "walk about" dinner. (Contiki speak for here is a cool area, find a place to eat ) This east end area is known for being funky, with lots of street art (graffiti) and container bars. Great Street art, the area reminded me of vina del mar in Chile. City hall should really get behind this kind of initiative. We ate at a Trinidadian resto and had some great jerk beef and Cj had curry fish. Washrooms, well really one mixed sex washroom in a container with 5 stalls, for over 200 people. Likely wouldn't be approved by city hall. 😅
The return bus was scheduled for 930pm but we were fished way before that so we decided to take a walk into city centre to stretch out after being in a seated position all day. We walked as far south as the Thames and then found our way to the nearest tube station to home.
PS - have I mentioned that The lack of wifi access is frustrating. When you have gotten used to having access to wifi and text all the time this is superbly silly. Thank you Shaw but screw you Vodafone.