I’m sorry about the delayed trip report.
My London trip started well. The plane was half-empty so I moved to a seat with more leg-room. Soon after take-off my entertainment system stopped functioning. “Well look at the bright side”, I said to myself, “that’s one less distraction from sleeping”. And I had a good sleep, which I direly needed. I didn’t want to spend the first day recovering from jet lag in a hotel room.
After a 12-hour flight, I arrived at Heathrow T5 refreshed, invigorated by the morning sun:
I’d heard many bad things about the other terminals, none of which was true about the new T5. It was modern and sparkling clean. Border control and customs were very efficient.
From Heathrow to hotel:
To get to my B&B I had to take the Heathrow Connect train to Paddington station. While waiting, I heard a man screaming. He was on the platform and one of his arms was caught between the train doors. The doors did detect his arm but would only open a little – not enough for him to withdraw. I watched in horror fearing the train would suddenly pull out and tear his arm off. Eventually the platform staff intervened (took quite a while, though) and freed the poor man.
From Paddington it was a 5-10 minute walk to my hotel. I’d already rehearsed the walk on Google Map Street View, so I immediately recognized the way upon exiting the station. Streets in this area were lined with white, stucco-fronted Victorian houses. They were very stylish and classy, and gave me a good first impression of London, despite the incident at the platform.
It was still 7:00 am, too early to check in, so I deposited my luggage at the hotel. Although the hotel’s website says luggage storage costs 2 pounds/day, they charged me nothing. I was one hour ahead of schedule so I had additional time to explore the city. Great! I couldn’t wait to start.