03.10.2011 - 03.10.2011
It's been warm, hot and hotter in London. The weather is supposed to crack the day after we leave for our tour, Thursday.
Craig has been our trusty tour guide and since I last wrote we have been many places.
Sunday Jude and I got brave and decided to give Craig the day off and go into the city ourselves on the trains.
We managed to find our way to Totenham Court Road, Kathmandu, Paperchase, Knightsbridge and Harrods and back home again.
Yesterday was an amazing day. All thanks to Craig and Brian.
I have copied directly from my daily journal.
We got up early this morning, leaving the house at 7.15am to make our way via trains to Canary Wharf, a relatively new business area of London, with Craig telling us we were on our way to watch a tv show being made he got tickets for. It wasn't until we were standing there wondering which direction did he confess we weren't going to the show and his friend Brian (a pilot) was meeting us and would be taking us for a fly to another country for the day. Something we found out later they had been cooking up for a month or so. Brian is part owner of a Piper Arrow. He drove us to Biggins Airfield near Kent, roadworks held us up for ages. We waited in the airport lounge and watched the live telecast of the Amanda Knox appeal in Perugia Italy, while Brian got the plane ready.
It was here at the airport that Brian let slip we were going to France. Exciting!! The plane was a four seater. We had to step on the wing to get in. Craig sat up front with Brian to be co-pilot. On the way we flew across the British channel and Jude said the only way we could top this surprise off would be if we went to Versailles. It was exciting looking out for first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower and then finally spotting it. It took about 1.5 hours and we landed at Toulousse de Nobel airport. It cost £20 to land there. It was while we were waiting for a cab that we found out we were going to Versailles!! The place we both had really wanted to go to but did not think we would make it to on our tour as it is quite a distance from Paris.
Google Versailles. It has an awesome palace and astounding gardens. Unfortunately the palace was shut on Monday but we wandered the gardens and had lunch in the restaurant there, took heaps of photos, had refreshments in another cafe, and sweltered in the heat. It was garden maintenance day. We caught a cab back to the airport about 4pm, which cost €10 less than the other cab?? Flew off again about 4.30pm. Had to go through customs back at Biggins airport and got another stamp in our passports by the lovely passport officers there while Brian put the plane to bed. We stopped off at a 'real' old english pub for a drink then Brian dropped us off at Canary Wharf to catch the trains back to Leytonstone again.
Home about 8.30pm. Wednesday we start our Europe tour. After the little taste today I am eager to see more.
Jude and I both feel very spoiled by the awesome treat Craig and Brian 'cooked' up and will remember it always.
P.S. Lois I spent those euros you gave me on a lemonade at the Versailles cafe. Was very refreshing sitting in the shade looking over the lake. Cheers.