Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday- Life is Good!

It was almost as good a day as Tuesday was bad.  Got up at 7AM, still baggage-less, but took advantage of the breakfast at the Hostel. Typical British food but it filled me up and the coffee was hot, then I was off to sightsee.
Made it to the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (Christopher Robin went down with Alice, after all).  Also made Trafalgar Sq- with 4 lions to guard me, fountains and statues all over the place, and the Metropole staring me right in the face- and it was good enough for Nelson. 

What struck me most about London was the traffic.  They are hosting the 2012 Olympics in London; they couldn't do any infrastructure work until after the Royal Wedding, so it seems that every major street has some kind of construction project going on.  Many streets were closed off, and the streets that got the diverted traffic just couldn't handle it.  I think I'd like to go back to London some day, but not until after 2012.

I ended my sightseeing about 3pm, picked up my carry-on luggage from the Hostel, and proceeded out to Gatwick Airport.  First task was to check in at the Yotel there, and had a neat 8ft by 8ft room with private shower and TV right on the airport grounds.  Second order of business was to shake enough trees to get my missing luggage.  If I didn't come up with the luggage, it was going to be very difficult to put together a station for the Saturday competition.  A call to the baggage company, GBS, netted little other than "we're too busy to look at what's been sitting here all day".  I simply wasn't going to stop at that, so I went to the Information Desk.  They called Airport Service, who then called GBS; it was true Catch 22.  I couldn't go down and look thru the luggage they had because it was in a secure area, and no one would let me in.  Someone from GBS or Airport Service could escort me in, but they were both too busy.  So I remained without luggage.  The biggest positive of this go-around was that I could verify that my luggage was indeed there!  After waiting an hour and still not having the luggage brought up, I was told to go to the Airport Sky counter and ask them to contact GBS, so I did.  They called on the phone, and got the run-around for 20 minutes of phone tag.  GBS said they would bring the bag up "when they had time".  Finally, 2 hours 10 minutes after I first started trying, someone from GBS appeared, unannounced, with my bag.  Yippee!  With the baggage now in my possession, I got some dinner and settled in for the night at 8pm knowing that the 4AM wake-up call would come quick.

All in all, a good day.

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