June 18th 1998, Thursday
So I'm already a little delinquent in doing this journal thing. What with the hectic arrival schedule, being dead tired, sleeping anytime I was sitting down w/ my bag, etc...I haven't been keeping up since I arrived in London Sunday the 14th. One of the first things I saw of Europe as we flew into Gatwick was a highway - with all the cars on the right, i.e. wrong, side of the road.
Back to Friday, though. Chris' parents drove us to S.F., we picked up Cory on the way and met Heather, Miranda, and Marcos there. On the 12th we flew to St. Louis and when we got there, a good omen for the trip occured - the connecting flight to Gatwick was severely overbooked. We all (except Heather) gave up our seats in exchange for 1) another flight 24hrs later, 2) free hotel stay, 3) $25 each in food, 4) our trips extended by one day and 5) a free round trip ticket anywhere TWA flies! Scotland again? Austrailia?
We were put up in the Henry VIII - a nice hotel but none of the 3 restaraunts were ever open, so we spent most of our $75 voucher on beer. On the 13th we went to the Northwest Plaza Mall in St. Louis and marveled at the complete lack of anything remotely interesting to be found. We went back to the hotel and lounged @ the pool where there were 3 good-looking (youngish) girls working on specific tan lines. The plane left that night w/ no hitches. Again, I sat next to Cory and Chris. Two girls who sat in front of us told us to go to Covent Gardens in London (we never did).
June 14th - We came around & met the sun in London - getting there @ 11am to them, the middle of a sleepless night to us. Heather met us & took us to the youth hostel. £15 and not much as far as hostels go. Just the first indication of how expensive London was. After that we bought tickets for the play in town (we took the tube) then headed to a nearby pub for beer & sandwiches. After that, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey & Picadilly Square (lions & pidgeons) were impressive, sure, but the mass quantities of tourists and being extremely tired detracted from all.
We still went to the play that night. We saw "Art" in a small theatre which seemed to have been built straight up. I enjoyed the play about three mens' relationships & interactions & a white canvas. I don't know yet if I could apply it to my life or those I know.
Even though I couldn't help falling asleep during the play, I followed them (which I did a lot those first two days) to a restaurant. I guess heather or Dan's new thing was Indian, so I tried it. It was good & and it wasn't just hunger. Medium chicken curry w/ rice and (?) plain, flat bread stuff.
We went back to the hostel & collapsed. Chris fell asleep like he was dead & after a shower I wasn't far behind.
June 15th - We got up way too early the next morning for free breakfast, rolls, jam, cereal & battery acid (coffee). It was during breakfast that Heather came in and calmly announced that she had her Eurorail Pass & travelers cheques stolen out of her bag the night before in her room. one other girl had her travelers cheques stolen as well. As they went to the police station the guys all went to see the palace & the changing of the guard. Well-rested, London was better, but there were still mass-tourists for the changing. We got to wander around most of the day, Cory, Chris & I following them to unknown places as they did things they had to do.
We ended up @ Victoria Station so they could get tickets to Lancaster. Then, they were hungry so we trouped to the nearest restaurant for another over-priced meal. Not the way to budget. Cory and Chris did not want to go to Lancaster so we had the Idea of all going to Stonehenge. As Bath is very nearby, we decided on that as our base of operations. Heather & them left on a train to Lancaster, we took a nine o clock bus & got to Bath around twelve.