Saturday, May 17, 2014

Day 1: Travel

Up early on Thursday, 5/15, to finish packing and run errands, then take my mother to a birthday lunch. Left for the airport around 3:15 p.m., arrived by 4, checked in, and had a long wait. The flight was much faster than I expected, by maybe 45 minutes, but was also more jammed than I expected. I will be investigating options for more seat room for the return flight.

The flight attendant ran out of the beef stew dinner just as they as they got to me; the chicken teriyaki was pretty darned bland. The alleged breakfast served toward the end of the flight was inedibly awful; a granola bar, blueberry muffin, and orange juice. Thank goodness for the cashews!

Cleared customs, then bought a SIM for my phone and fumbled with it for a while, because the Vodaphone SIM is a nanoSIM with an adaptor for larger slots. Well, it works! And I will have to buy a pile of data, no surprise considering how much I'll be using the map functions.

Taking the Heathrow Express and a cab made luggage handling easier than taking the Tube but was a good deal more expensive, and the cab from Paddington to Liverpool St. Station (more or less) was slooooow.

The apartment is as advertised and very comfortable, except for the mattress, which is bad. Also, it's a non-smoking apartment, but there are tobacco smells here and there, perhaps creeping in from downstairs or outside?

Walked over to dinner with Zerbinetta and Finn (Where's Runnicles), then to Gawain.


Henry Holland said...

I'm extremely jealous that you are in London and I'm not! :-)

Really hope you enjoy the concerts, especially the one with Earth Dances.

Anonymous said...

Never try to wrangle luggage on the Tube, that would have been my advice. I'm glad I didn't have to give it.

The only thing I don't like about Heathrow Express, besides the price, is the little tv sets in the cars, blasting away the same news one just traveled 6000 miles to get away from.

Henry Holland said...

Who at the Barbican and the LSO thought it was a good idea to pair Earth Dances with a Brahms piano concerto? I can imagine the meeting:

Person 1: Well, even though it's a Birtwistle festival and even though he's never expressed any affinity for Brahms, we need to make sure people come back after the interval, I'd say one of the Brahms piano concertos for the makeweight.

Person 2: But what about something by Varèse, say Ameriques because we'll have a large orchestra at hand or Webern's Op. 10 or Op. 21 or a late Stravinsky 12-tone piece?

Person 3: No Brahms would be fantastic, brilliant idea!

It's like the geniuses who did a Szymanowski festival a few years and paired him with....Haydn.