Friday, 8 March 2013

A night at the Excel(lent)

Saturday 2nd March to Sunday 3rd March 2013

Today was the day that we had been planning for a little while – we were off to Brugge, but it would mean a night in London to be able to be at St Pancras in time for the Eurostar.

So it was up early and get the final packing completed – we have been getting better at reducing the amount that we take – down to two cases and a backpack.

Dot and Gordon (nb Ewn Ha Cul) had agreed to look after Banjo for the morning until Ellie (nb Parisien Star) was back from her trip to Germany – she wanted to look after him for our time away – think she is missing Mick and needed Banjo as a distraction.

Anyway Banjo was taken for his “dog-sitting” – he was in for a morning of spoiling (we were sure of that) and we were off to catch the bus to Stafford for the train into London via a stop at Watford for a visit and mail.

Managed the stopover quite well and then into Euston and the Underground – we had been told by Phil (Diane’s cousin and an underground driver) where we needed to go – easy peasy – Northern line south to Bank and then the DLR to Custom House Excel – we had a booking at the Novotel (mystery booking at a reduced rate – very pleases with the rate).

We took the opportunity in this time to add some credit to our Oyster Cards and got through it all OK – until we arrived at Bank – the DLR line through Custom House was closed due to maintenance, but a bus service was operating – no problems.




Arrived at the hotel, checked in, checked it all out – very comfortable indeed.

A very nice meal out and then a comfortable nights sleep – breakfast was not included but we availed ourselves of the buffet – and reasonably priced.
a very London morning





The O2


The Emirates Air-Line sky lift over to Breenwich Peninsula

The remains of the old derricks remain as a reminder of the
origins of the area

in tribute to the thousands (maybe millions) of people who
worked and toiled in this area of the docks

In all of this time – the evening before and early the next morning we did some walking around to check out the area – this was the Royal Dock area and off the main line of the Thames – it had obviously been part of the old docks of London and now after the regeneration – which included the Excel conference and exhibition halls – was looking forward to a new life – there is still some work to be done but it is starting to come back to life.

On the train trip out from Bank to Canning Town (before we had to get the replacement bus service) we noted that we passed by Limehouse station and more importantly – Limehouse basin.
Limehouse basin


The start (or end) of the Regents Canal

The DLR is so close by - note the footbridge on the right where
the runner is approaching - to the left of that is the Regent canal
- to the right is Limehouse Basin - this picture is taken from the
DLR Limehouse station

As we were ready very early after breakfast we decided that we could afford to break our trip back to St Pancras and visit the basin and have a good look around – never too early to do some planning for future years – it looks quite good and deserves some serious consideration for a future winter base – 3 to 4 months in London.

We still had plenty of time to get to St. Pancras and we were there with time to spare, but not the usual hours of time to wait.

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