Hyde Park London

by CameronM Fri, September 05 2003 05:06

Owing to the change in time-zones my day started at around 2am, and I can tell you this much, there's not much to do at 2am. I filled in the time by creating a spreadsheet which contains a list of expenses and calculates the length of time I can stay based on the daily average. Exciting stuff I know, but hey I wanted to brush up on my Excel skills anyway. I wandered outside at about 7am to be greeted by a somewhat sleepier Bayswater, covered with a thin veil of fog. The temperature was decidedly cooler than yesterday afternoon, however it was still t-shirt whether.

Across the road from the hotel is the ever popular Hyde Park, I say 'ever popular' because even at 7am the park was a hive of activity as runners, walkers and cyclists took to the multitude of paths around the park. The grass looks decided browner then I expected no doubt thanks to the heat wave conditions over summer.

Hyde Park London

With digital camera in hand and having no idea where I was or where I wanted to go, I simply wandered around, heading anywhere that seemed interesting. First stop was Kensington Palace, where mourners still leave flowers, notes and photos for the late Princess Diana. The palace itself looks rather bland with brown bricks and a rather plain facade, not that I'd say no if someone gave it to me.

Kensington Palace on the anniversary of the death of Princess Diana

I continued to wander along the path being passed by countless cyclists riding all manner of bikes, including those small bikes that look like you're riding your child’s bike with an extra long seat pole. One fellow on just such a bike was engrossed in a mobile phone conversation; thankfully those ear-piece hands-free kits now make it possible to talk business and ride, something that seems quite useless.

 

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Tokyo - London

by CameronM Thu, September 04 2003 05:06

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford. (Samuel Johnson)

The directions to the An-Nur Hotel said it was located close to both Queensway and Bayswater stations unfortunately whoever wrote that wasn't dragging a 22.5kg suitcase and what felt like at least a 15kg backpack, nor did they travel the longest possible route. Having disembarked at Bayswater I analysed the street number of the closest street and seeing that they increased the further up the street you went, I assumed that they would do so on the next street over (the one I wanted). But alas one should never assume, a lesson I learned instantly as I rounded the corner and was confronted with the number 3, and had to walk the entire length of the street to get to the hotel. London is still suffering from summer and it was hot even in a short sleeve shirt, especially so after a brisk walk.

Once checked in to the smallest room on earth I was lucky enough to also be blessed with the world's smallest ensuite, which as an added bonus contained a toilet that one could quite easily use while having a shower. After 27 hours in the air or in airports plus 1 hour on the underground and a hike to the hotel, I couldn't have cared if the shower was outside and quickly took advantage of my new abode.

Possibly the smallest room in the world, An-Nur Hotel Bayswater

Shortly after arriving, the need for exploration and food took over and I ventured out into the main street of Bayswater, Queensway Terrace. It was about 5:30pm and the place was alive with people returning from work, or wherever they'd been, and calling into the shops to pick up the evenings supplies. I stumbled across an internet cafe (although the use of the word cafe can only be loosely applied to the 30 or so cubicles in rows much like the labs in the UQ Information Technology building), which was offering 50p per half hour rates, so I decided to contact home and let everyone know I had arrived safely.

My tired eyes could barely last through typing the brief message so I knew I had better find some food and head back to the hotel before I nodded off in the street. A guy on the sidewalk was handing out vouchers to KFC, so I wandered in and got a cheap burger and fries. I was surprised by the number of people holding placards to the various shops and restaurants that must be what those poor backpackers must do for spare change (I better not talk too soon). In addition there were all the usual annoying people handing out flyers for cheap food or something, one guy seemed really put out when I declined the proffered flyer, they must get paid by the page.

 

An-Nur Hotel Bayswater

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UK