Saturday 19th January, 1980
After landing at Heathrow at 10:10am we were shuttled to the terminal by a bus. Apparently the weather had cleared a short time before our arrival and a whole bunch of planes had landed prior to us and so we had the shuttle bus.
It was very cold, no rain but very cold!
We lined up for about 30 minutes before getting through Immigration and then there was a long wait for our luggage which was a bit of a worry.
Then it was through Customs, no one said a word to us, and out into the main terminal. We made a query regading a hotel for the night - not sure why we hadn't pre booked one. At 12:10pm we boarded a British Airways bus and headed for London where we arrived at Victoria Station at 12:45pm.
Here we made further enquiries about a hotel and a very helpful young lady told us about 183 Gloucester Place.
Into our first London Taxi and I told the driver that we wanted to go to 183 Gloucester Road. First mistake, after a drive of 15 minutes or so the driver informed us that there was no 183 Gloucester Road????? Oppps. It's Gloucester Place, not Road. "Does it make a difference"?" I asked. The cabbie informed us that it was the other side of London so we got some good site seeing done (including a drive through Hyde Park) as we drove for another 20 minutes or so and this time to the correct place.
183 Gloucester Place is sort of like a bed and breakfast, our room was very small but it was nice enough and had a private shower and toilet.
After settling in we went for a walk down Baker Street. Went to a Marks and Spencer and a Selfridges before Rayls bought a nice warm coat at C&A. Rayls wore that coat for years, even into the 21st century and it may still be hanging in her wardrobe, well worth the 25 pounds she paid.
We eventually had an early dinner at Kentucky Fried Chicken before heading back to our room around 4:00pm. We were in bed by 5:00pm, bad mistake - should have stayed up for a few hours longer to try and break the jet lag.
We were both very tired.
Sunday 20th January, 1980
We were both up at 4:30am. Good sleep but a bit early to do much. We played cards the old way with cards. We chatted and killed time till breakfast at 8:00am. Very nice breakfast too!
At 8:45am we walked to Baker Street station and caught the tube to Liverpool Street and then walked to Petticoat Lane. We looked around, quite interesting.
Then caught the tube from Aldridge to Westminster. At Westminster we saw the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Walked up to Buckingham Palace and then along the mall to Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus.
At Piccadilly Circus we caught a bus which took us on a one and a half hour tour - very interesting.
After the bus tour we went to Piccadilly Station and caught the tube to Marylborough and then walked back to the hotel where I rang my Aunt in Holland.
Later we went to Madame Tussuad's where we saw the wax figures.
Then onto a Wimpy's for a bacon and egg burger with chips dinner.
We were again back at the hotel very early and were asleep by 6pm.
Monday 21st January, 1980
Today is Rayls birthday - she is 23!!!!!
We had breakfast at 8:00am and then took a short walk along Baker Street before catching a taxi to 180 Vauxhall Bridge Road, where our tour company Cosmos is situated.
After confirming our European Tour we walked to the British Airways office at Victoria Station and booked return air tickets to Amsterdam - $59.50 each, no tax!!!! We leave London tomorrow at 12:00 noon and arrive Amsterdam at 2:00pm.
We then walked in the general direction of Baker Street and finally caughta taxi to Oxford Street where we shopped at Mothercare and Selfridges. Then along Baker Street to Wimpy's where we had lunch. We also went to a stationary store to buy envelopes.
Back to the hotel where we packed the Mothercare items and addressed it home. I phoned my Aunt in Holland to confirm our arrival time tomorrow and also phoned Qantas to confirm our return air travel.
Then at 2:15pm we headed to the Midlands Bank to cash some travellers cheques and then to the post office to post the parcel and postcards.
Back at the hotel I paid the the hotel bill - 68 pound for 3 nights. We packed our bags and then looked for a show to go to as a birthday treat for Rayls.
We were lucky enough to get two seats for the King and I at the London Palladium. No cheap second rate show, this is the real thing with Yul Brynner on stage!!!!
So we left the hotel at 5:40pm and once again walked along Baker Street to Oxford Street and then along Oxford Street to Oxford Circus just past Regent Street. Then down Argyle Street to the Palladium where we picked up our tickets - The King and I in stage with Yul Brynner, Virginia McKenna and an Aussie star called Marty Rhone.
We were a little early and so had a quick dinner at a place called Garners Steakhouse. This place was a bit classy for us especially when we had little time. We had fillet steak, boiled potatoes and lemon squash. I remember we were a bit embarrassed as this place was a little above our league - we laugh about it now.
Then to the Palladium and the show. We had great seats and it was just an awesome show. One of our happiest memories, even nearly 30 years later, is this show. Great night.
After the show we caught a taxi back to our room and thanks to the King we finally beat the jet lag and were in bed at a reasonable time, 10:30pm.
Tuesday 22nd January, 1980
We still seem a little jet lagged and were up at 5:30am.
We finished packing and had brekafast at 7:30am. Lady at hotel phoned for a taxi and at 8:50am we arrived at Victoria Station where we caught a British Airways bus to Heathrow. We have enjoyed our first international travel and look forwsrd to being back in London after our tour of Europe.
We looked around the airport for a bit before boarding our British Airways flight which took off at noon.
We had a window seat and saw some great scenery on the flight which took less than an hour.
Docked at Schiphol at 1:00pm (2:00pm Dutch time) and were met by my Aunty, Uncle and cousins Tooske and Miranda. We got to know everybody over a drink in the airport cafeteria. We had met my Aunty when she visited Australia a few months before but this was the first time I had ever met a cousin.