England / London / Travel Writing

Dulles to London, and scary birds in between!

This is it!  For us, this is pretty good.

This is it! For us, this is pretty good.

Well, this is what we are taking.  These bags, and the four of us headed off on our European Tour.  I’m not even going to attempt the math, but many hours later we arrived at London Heathrow around noon London time.  We were tired to the point of a bit punchy and confused, but we still made it through customs and to central London, and got to our rented flat – and less than 10 minutes off of when I predicted for the nice woman meeting us with the key.  Yay!  Embrace the small victories.

However, in between leaving home and arriving in London, we had a disturbingly memorable time in Reeykjavik, Iceland.  We only had 30 minutes, and our departure gate was right across from our arrival gate, so a potty stop was in order for everyone.  Except we get to the ladies room, and as we go to walk in, we are greeted by…

image This dude!  Seriously, floor to ceiling!  Scraggly, yellow-mouthed, squawky, and clearly guarding the potty and offended at our entrance.  If you don’t stop dead in your tracks at that when you enter a foreign rest room and come face to face with a wall of this – you just need to go home.  Because this demands appreciation.  Who?!  WHO thought, ‘I know!  We’ll put the head of an angry 50 foot bird in the potty to greet weary travelers before they’ve had their morning coffee!’  This dude is inexplicable.  And frightening.

But that’s not all!  The bathroom itself was disorientingly white and glossy, and each of the stalls was a fully enclosed room with its own terrifying, futuristic sink.  The automatic water was pretty standard, but if your hands drift from center, the ‘faucet’ switches – without warning – to jet-engine powered air dry.  At which point I yelped, leapt away from the sink and the jet-engine dryer shot the remaining soap bubbles on my hands all over the mirrored potty-room I was inhabiting, causing me to burst out in exhausted laughter. I’m sure the gigantor sand-piper that was outside my private stall was having a good laugh at me, because one 50-foot bird was not enough for this restroom.  They lined the walls!

Being the law abiding and rule following girl I am, I cannot attest to the wild-life inhabitants or terrifying sinks within the men’s room.  And Scotty didn’t mention anything.  However, what I can tell you, is that there is a reason men’s rooms have entrance/exit doors.  This one did not have said door, and all attempting nonchalance in the hallway were seriously regretting it.  That place reeked!  And no, it wasn’t my Scott.  He was standing in the hall awaiting me, eyes watering and desperate to leave the area.

We survived scary-bird & potty-stink, and made it on our flight and to London.   We chose to take a taxi to our apartment, which, yes, was expensive.  Yes, we could have taken the overground express train and it would have been cheaper, but we wanted to get more of a tour of London on our way in.  As our cab pulled around a bend in in the road and lo and behold, there was Buckingham Palace.  Just sitting there.  In the middle of everything.  Unexpected.

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So, as I said, we arrived just when I had predicted a week ago, and while we initially were told we could drop our bags off, but would not be able to stay in the flat until 4pm, it turns out the flat was all ready for us.  So we were able to drop the bags, and flop on the beds briefly – but only briefly to avoid messing up our body clocks even more.

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