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Published: August 21st 2007
Ace Hotel room
what a nice little place!
Day 2: I arrived at the Gatwick Airport around 10:05am. Walking down the long corridor to 'enter' the UK took at least 10 minutes! There were long hallways... I thought they would never end. But the biggest line was really the customs line! Wow, the European Union line snaked around 7-8 times, where as the 'other' countries line snaked at least 10 times. So there I waited with the 'others'. "No Pictures or Video recording allowed." Well, not just there... at all Security areas.
In about 10 minutes, the EU line had cut in half while I only moved a few feet.
Finally reaching the front, I saw the EU was non-existent and it had opened up its side for the rest of the 'other' countries. I stated my reason for entering the UK (I'm going on a European tour for a month), and was quickly let in.
It had already been 40 minutes when I was let through. And I had thought the line would allow time for the baggage to come... but there I STILL waited for the luggage to go onto the conveyor belt. Who knew? But within a few minutes, I had my red luggage in my hand and I began to wheel it toward the Declare exit.. I had nothing to declare and just walked right on through (there wasn't even a guard there, haha).
At this point, I looked for the Gatwick Express... to get me from the Airport to the Victoria Station in central London. Looking for signs, I walked toward the train platforms. I looked for the next departure, and found the next train left at 11:20am (I think). Seeing the ticket line almost made me melt but luckily, STA Travel had provided me with a free train ticket there (less stress!!). I went down the escalator and on the right was platform 2! I got right on, stowed my luggage area and sat down.
The ride was nice and smooth.
After reaching the Victoria station, I transfered over to the tube, the local underground train. I also got a free one way ticket to anywhere within the 6 zones... so off I went. I got on the District line (it's green), west bound to West Kensington. After getting off, I read the directions that I printed off of londonhostel.com. Make a right onto the main road. Then after the main road, make a left. Walk about 100 meters.
Yeah, ok. So I screwed up. Instead of turning left, I kept going straight down the main road (whatever that was). And the street signs are not that visible... it was only later (about 10 minutes later) when I realized that I've gone too far (okay, so Dan realized it, not me). We turned back and found the street... walked about 7 minutes and found it, Ace Hotel. Yippee!!
By now, it was 12:45pm, and we hadn't ate. We couldn't check in until 2, so we dropped off our luggage and headed back out. Near the main road, we found a Thai restaurant (and an ATM). Lunch consisted of Fried Rice and Pad Thai with prawn (similar to shrimp). It was quite a tasty first meal! (Thank goodness I wasn't sucked into eating at Burger King at the Victoria Station around noon... though I must admit, I was quite hungry!! Also, the prices at fast foods are outrageous)
After checking in, I took a little rest on the bed (as pictured).
I then went back out to explore central London.
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