I get up early and finish my packing and am on my way to the bus stop before it is even light outside. I feel very sad to leave the Isle of Wight.
Once in Newport, I walk up Union Road again, looking for a place that is open for breakfast. I order the “full English”. I will miss this when I get home! I will, however, be glad to have a good cup of coffee. The British don’t seem to know how to make it. Most places, it seems to be instant coffee but even the coffee from the cafes is weak and tasteless.
I’m in lots of time for the Hovercraft and get my ticket. I can see the hovercrafts all lined up on the beach.
I can see the end of the pier from the terminal and wish I’d had a chance to walk out to the end while I was here but besides not having time, it was simply too cold.
The train runs out to the end of the pier where the catamaran service to Portsmouth is. You can see the mainland from the Esplanade and I’m wondering how Jessie and William traveled to Portsea for their 2nd wedding back in 1879. Certainly not in a Hovercraft or a Catamaran!
We arrive at the Hovercraft station in Portsmouth and the Greyhound bus is waiting. I’m looking forward to seeing everything I missed on the way here when I was sleeping but the highway is recessed and all I can see is highway, cars and construction, with the occasionally glimpse of countryside.
We enter London and finally there is something to look at. I get a feel for the neighbourhoods we drive through and in a way, they remind me of downtown Toronto but everything seems closer together.
We take the bridge across the Thames and I can see another bridge and tall buildings in the distance. The river looks murky and there are tugs and barges moored.
We pull into the station on Buckingham Palace Road and I’m glad that I know where I’m going for once. I checked out the hotel while I was waiting for the bus the first day I was here.
This time it seems further but I find the hotel and it doesn’t look one bit better than when I saw it last. I check in and am happy that my room is ready so I can dump my luggage and backpack. I’m going sightseeing and only need my purse and my map. I’ve been dragging my backpack everywhere so this will be a treat. I’m on the fourth floor and when the elevator opens, I think they’ve made a mistake. The hallway is in darkness but I can make out the room numbers on a sign and it seems like I’m in the right place. I step off the elevator and the light over my head comes on. The hallway is narrow and I walk in the direction of my room. As I walk, lights come on above me and turn off behind me. Weird!
I open the door to my room and am dumbfounded. It is smaller than my closet at home! I’ve never been in such a small hotel room. I dump my stuff and try to take a picture but I can’t even get a proper shot by standing out in the hall. It is just too small.
Opposite the bed is a desk and there almost isn’t room to pull out the chair. To make the lights work in the room, I have to insert my key card into the slot inside the door.
Well, I guess everything I need is here and besides, it won’t be a very long stay and I won’t be spending much time here. I get the information to get on WiFi and have to borrow an outlet adapter from the hotel. Mine just won’t seem to work here.