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April 13th 2016
AB goes to London…. H & H arranged a great trip

Wednesday April 13


ALL 12 AB’s ABOARD. Easyjet 5394 is therefore allowed to take off from Innsbruck Airport.
17:05 (Mind the clock! It’s GMT now) Arrival at Gatwick Airport. 

After baggage claim, transfer to South Terminal, first stop at the gate to London trains:
Annemarie and Heinz have to top up their oyster cards first. All the others have them ready – so off we go to London Victoria. Then we head for the Central Line to reach Paddington directly. 





After a short (!) walk, we finally arrive at the Lancaster Hall Hotel. Check-in, short unpacking and off we are to the (first) pub – just down the road (The Mitre). Decide not to come back the following nights as separate payment is impossible. We finally manage to pay nevertheless. Only Walter decides to go there again – for the live music. 
Thursday April 14











Everybody (nearly) ready for Heinz’s guided walk.
Bus rides preferred. Especially by Heidrun and Martha. First stop: Westminster (the Abbey, not the Cathedral). 

Lunch time: 


Whitehall. Access to Downing Street barred although Reinhold tries hard. Short stop at the Horse Guards, who are much friendlier and let everybody in.



The (second) pub (The Clarence) disqualified because all the interesting items on the menu are already sold out. Short stop (Prêt à Manger) for a walking lunch. Nelson’s meanwhile waiting in Trafalgar Square. Through Admiralty Arch via The Mall to Buckingham Palace. Let’s take another bus.







Short spells of rain but still “predominantly dry.” Heinz is not allowed too many deviations from the original tour, as Gerti knows it by heart. 
The Tower and Tower Bridge are next. Back by bus until driver decides to stop. But we have Heinz, who knows all the ropes, i.e. bus routes.










The (third) pub, this time round the corner. (The Swan).
Party of stylishly dressed gentlemen outside, football fans inside, where we go. Everybody orders and pays at the bar – so that’s settled. Liverpool victory only learned the following day, except Rupert, a keen telly watcher. 
Friday April 15



Off we go to, heading for the City. The first people already discover they need more cash – well, there are banks galore with ATM’s (inside) and holes in the wall (unsafe, as they are outside). They do not exchange euros, however. And we are having the rainy day anyway. 

Heinz tells us a lot about the oldest part of London, shows us where the Temple Bar is now and remembers the places frequented by Scrooge and other Dickensian characters. St. Paul’s, The Monument and The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street are greeted as well as London Bridge (NOT falling down), unfortunately the rain does not stop. 

Lunch time:  We take the DLR to Canary Wharf, where we have lunch. 







Another bus ride after Martha has purchased an umbrella.




Our next pub is the Pride of Paddington, up the road. Separate payment made possible by an Aussie. Barbara does not join us as she has to meet her daughter. All their family are waiting for a baby due to arrive in London these days.
Saturday April 16












The day is dedicated to markets and shops of all kinds. First Covent Garden and its former Flower market changed into a very lively place. Even a Pearly King passes by with his queen.
Then we walk via Theatreland to Leicester Square (a change of plan, yet Gerti agrees and Rupert can visit “his” street).

Lunch time







Piccadilly Circus (with Anteros, not Eros!). Standing lunch at another Prêt à Manger. 



Off we go to Regent Street, Carnaby Street and Oxford Street. Final decision to skip Harrods (NOT in Oxford Street and not on the original plan anyway!) and go to Selfridge’s instead. 






At the Bridge House Pub by the canal, near Little Venice, where we meet Molly, Heinz’s friend. 

Separate Payment possible, payment at the bar preferred. 

Sunday April 17
8 a.m. Despite Heidrun’s birthday, only one plan: get back to Gatwick, except for Hazel, who, heading for Edinburgh, has to travel from King’s Cross (but not from platform 9¾!). We are, however joined by Barbara and her daughter again, mainly because the baby failed to arrive. Central Line service closed for the weekend, so let’s take the Victoria Line from Lancaster Gate. 
10:00 11 AB’s safely reach Gatwick and are let off at the Terminal until the gate is announced. 
12:30 All aboard and plane starts moving for take-off at 12:45.

(Change the clocks again!) Touch-down in Innsbruck. Big hugs to everyone, especially to HEINZ. (Apologies for the pains in your neck …..)

Our thanks go to Hazel as well, although she is still in Edinburgh

Annemarie Kirchner

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