Ethan and I have had a great trip so far. We had a bit of excitement yesterday (Wednesday) when we went to the Stockholm central station to catch the bus to Västerås. I didn't allow enough time to get there by subway and we ended up having to run through the station with our backpacks on. I arrived just in time to knock on the bus door as it was closing. The driver was kind and let us on the bus. He said he'd take care of the tickets when we arrived in Väesterås. Because we were so late, Ethan and I had to sit a few rows apart on the bus. He sat in the front row (good view) and I sat a few rows back next to a guy from Sierra Leone. He and I chatted a while. His family moved to a small town in the North of Sweden as refugees from the war in his home country.
We took a Ryanair flight from Västerås to London Stansted airport becuase this flight was a lot cheaper than a flight from Arlanda to Heathrow. When we got into Stansted, the last train had already left so we had to catch a bus. It was pouring rain and we got wet while we loaded our bags onto the bus. We had a nice smooth ride into London but arrived at Victoria station too late to catch the tube. So we hired a cab to take us to the hotel, the Barkston Gardens hotel. We crashed and fell straight asleep.
Today we got up around 9, had breakfast in a nearby café & doughnut shop, and then set up my ThinkPad in the hotel bar to check emails.
We headed out from Earl's Court tube station around noon. We hopped on a tour bus near Charing Cross Station and took in some of the major sights. We had a really funny tour guide who was also very knowledgeable. We got off at the the houses of parliament and walked around for a while. Then we got back on the sight-seeing bus and rode it for a few more stops. We got off at the Tower of London and took a tour there. After that we were pretty hungry, so we went to Brick Lane to find a curry shop. There was a great Bengali restaurant there where I had chicken jhalfrezee. Yumm.
Then we went to the London Eye, basically a huge 135 meter tall ferris wheel on the Thamese. It takes 40 minutes to go around and costs £11.50 per person. The folks in the next capsule had hired the whole capsule for a private party. They were dressed up nicely and drinking champagne. I'll have to remember to do that next time.
After that, Ethan and I rode a tour bus a few more stops and then came back to the hotel. Tomorrow, we plan to take a ferry from Dover to Calais ar noon, so we must leave London in the morning. We might see one or two things before going, but I think we'll probably just end up taking it a bit easy in the morning so that we can recover from walking around all day toay. We have reserved a little rental car in Calais. We'll pick it up and drive down to Caen, where we pland to stay two nights. If we can we will see the some of allied landing sites tomorrow afternoon on our way South from Calais to Caen. Then on Saturday morning we'll go see Mont Saint Michele. On Sunday we'll return the car in Caen and take the train to Paris.
If I can find an access point in Normandy I'll post another update tomorrow. Otherwise, I'll post an update when we get to Paris.