Monday, October 01, 2007


I spent the last week in London, from Monday til Sunday, mainly for a work-related training and a nice weekend with my girlfriend. And when you are in London there is always a lot to blog about.

First thing was my hotel. As it was a work-related training, I booked the hotel via work. I didn't want to be too close to the training site as it was very close to Heathrow and if I stayed there I would not be able to do anything at all during evenings. So I booked a hotel in South Kensington. It says that it's a four-star hotel. When I walked into the lobby, it all looked very nice and swanky. They gave me a key to a single room and when I entered the room it was as small as Harry Potter's room under the stairs. I booked two months in advance for 6 nights and they gave me the smallest room in their hotel! So I complained but they didn't have any other rooms for the night. The next night they moved me to another room with a double bed but again the room was small. And not just small but it was definitely not 4 star standard. Cracks in the wall and ceiling, carpeting from 1973, no mini bar, very small, etc. On Thursday my girlfriend came and we wanted to stay there until Sunday. I managed to ask for another room (3 rooms in 4 nights) but this one was shit as well. Finally we gave up and moved out of that hotel to a real 5 star close to Piccadilly Circus. And when I checked out from that hotel in South Ken, they didn't even ask why I checked out earlier, or how my stay was, or the usual standard questions. Can't believe that they have four stars.

Second is the transport. To go back and forth to the training site I had to take the Piccadilly line. Which is quite nice, I just sit there and play my PSP and I'm at Hatton Cross in 35 minutes. On Tuesday afternoon though there were delays in the Piccadilly line, so it took me an hour to get back to the hotel (I had to switch to the District line). On Wednesday I was meeting up with an old colleague. The plan was to meet in Parsons Green. Me and another colleague took the train in to Ealing Broadway. But there it was announced that there are several delays on the District line. We then jumped on the Central line to Notting Hill thinking that we can get a District line down to Parsons Green. When we got to Notting Hill Gate, the platform for the District line was overflowing with people. Turns out that on that the District line wasn't working in between two stations and Notting Hill Gate was bang in the middle of those two stations. So we went out trying to find a cab, but of course we weren't the only one to look for a cab when there is no tube. We then found a bus that could take us to Fulham Broadway. It should have taken us 20 minutes on the bus but after 50 minutes we started to give up hope. Traffic jams everywhere. Somehow we got to Fulham Broadway, but what could have been a 5/6 pints night ended up being a 3 pint night.

And lastly Oxford Street. I should remind myself over and over again not to go to Oxford Street on the weekends. It's just too crowded!

Also went to see Wicked. A great musical, very entertaining and a very interesting take on the wicked witch of Oz.

It's nice being in London...


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