Thursday, November 21 to London to Saturday November 24th. St. Johns then London then Siem Reap
21.11.2013 - 24.11.2013 26 °C
Thursday evening I left St John's, NL for London - a mere 8 hours flight, but with 16 hours layover in Halifax (24 hrs + 5 min!!!). Well, it all went smoothly. In Halifax, slept in the uncomfortable chairs, then read, then went to a "Tim's" and killed time, with arrival in London at 9:30 a.m. - hand luggage only - so on through immigration - smooth as silk.
NO CHECKED LUGGAGE MAKES TRAVELLING A BREEZE. TEDDY IS NOT GOING ON THE TRIP, BUT WE ARE HEADING DOWN THE UNDERGROUND TOGETHER
Now, on the other side, I faced a small challenge of navigating the "Underground". It is surely the way to go: Follow the clear instructions from arrival at the airport towards signs for [London Underground]. You can't go wrong - I Googled it yesterday- the line from the airport: Picadilly, change at Holborn and take the Northern Line, then the DRL to Limehouse - hop out and walk a block or two left then right then ring on the door of the apartment building and "No Surprise! Danielle, I'm here." ) From the airport: an "Oyster card" costs 5 pounds - refundable, and the fare for this trip was a mere 2 pounds. The Oyster card is bought with your credit card at an 'instant-teller' as you follow the signs to the Underground. Don't spend 30 pounds on a cab-fare ..... go smart in London and save your cab fare for the pubs.
NEAR DAWN 'TUBING' TOWARDS LONDON - LOOKING IN EVERYONE'S BACK YARD.
EARLY MORNING TRAVELLERS ON THE UNDERGROUND ARE SLEEPY AND POLITE.
Well, I had a marvellous 2 days visiting my daughter, Danielle, and her significant other, Nico, in a "flat" that overlooks the Thames and a jogging path (for only 1200 a month ) ....and WOW and it is swanky!!! We 'hung out' and went to the movie Hunger Games 2, and dinner and stuff. I visited my 'little' ... (6'2") brother , Michael + and finally set out for a blood-pressure-raising ride to the airport with traffic tie ups and frustrated driver (Nico) and uptight passenger (yah - that was ME!) ......ooohhhh the "tube" (Underground)- if only they had not been so polite!!!!!!!!!. Well, we got to Heathrow and I found that China Eastern Airlines won't let me take hand luggage more than 5 kg. Yuk: so I had to say goodbye to my former hand luggage, and quickly sort what was needed in my carry on. (I forgot the cash and the phone!!!!)
A NIGHT MARKET IN DANIELLE'S NEIGHBOURHOOD. CRISP AIR AND PLEASANT AROMAS.
THE GINGERBREAD HOUSES HAD A GERMAN TOUCH, AS DID PRETZELS AND SAUSAGES.
Not all that long later, I boarded "China Eastern", though I felt like a criminal, as I had stopped at a pay-computer and sent an email to Danielle. The wonderful, charming China Eastern ticket agent, Linda, had come to look for me, and escort their last passenger to the plane.
That part - well, travel half way around the world is long. All the same - sleep like a pretzel - then you get there. (only 18 hours later)
Arriving in Siem Reap: A sultry night, polite immigration and visa officers... (well, my cash was in my checked luggage, so I couldn't pay my entry visa !!!YIKES!!! No problem, someone gave me the cash and said she'd see me on the other side!) I got through the seamless procedure, and collected my luggage and went on to find a ride to my hotel. Cabby service - I went for the motorbike. Kolab, was a charming fellow, who balanced my small bag on his bike and allowed me to hop on behind him. For $2 U.S. we biked to Riverside Hotel - the wonderful, welcoming hotel where I will see Khemera, Jasmine, Aunty and Uncle tomorrow.
Now, an hour later, I am sipping a fine Grant's Scotch (1 L for $16 U.S. in Shanghai airport) sitting on the terrace with the buzz of crickets (locusts? ...yum) and the occasional sound of a rooster (they don't all wait for dawn). It is so easy to get very mellow in a place like this. Well, tomorrow, I plan to be up at 6:00 to go to the orphanage for 7:00 and spend the day teaching and enjoying the absolutely wonderful kids at ACODO orphanage.
AT MIDNIGHT THE TERRACE IS DESERTED, WITH ONLY THE BUZZ OF THE CRICKETS, AND 'CHIPR' OF THE GECCOS !
THERE IS THE SMELL OF JASMINE ON THE WARM HUMID AIR.
AN HOUR TO SIP, WHILE SAVOURING THE AROMAS, THE WARMTH AND THE PEACE.