That morning we lost the Oyster cards and the hotel

3 February, 2015

It is a cold – no, scratch that – a freezing February morning and Mamma and I are in London for a few days.  We’ve booked a bus trip to Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath for the day, so we’ve woken early and had a quick breakfast, leaving plenty of time to walk to the meeting point for the tour.  Mamma had Googled the location, worked out the streets, and we were set to go!

Except … just before we had to leave, we had the misfortune of losing our Oyster cards (the English version of the Opal card).   So we frantically search every bag, pocket, nook, cranny and crevice of the room.  No Oyster cards.  At this point, we figured that our immediate priority was to get to the pick-up point for our tour.  Though we decided to quickly check once more before leaving the hotel room and venturing out into the freezing cold – and lo and behold, Oyster cards!  Right in the pocket we first checked!

With the Oyster cards safely tucked away in our bag, we headed out and were blasted in the face by an impressive cold.  It was still fairly dark and the ground was coated in snow, but we trudged bravely forward in the slosh, bound for the Holiday Inn, Kings Cross Road, where we would meet the bus.

Except, we soon became aware that we were not in fact bound for the hotel and that we were most definitely heading in the wrong direction.  So we asked several passersby how we may find the said hotel and how to reach Kings Cross Road.  Several passersby had no idea whatsoever.  Several more pointed us in the direction of the station, which funnily enough, was not helpful in the slightest and thoroughly confused us.

Cue panic.

We were lost in the middle of London in the freezing cold and it was snowing and I was still sick and coughing and no one knew how to get to where we needed to be.  It was amazing …

So naturally, we tried to follow some vague directions kindly explained (though not very well) by a middle-aged Londoner, and we became even more lost.

We called the company, explained that we were late, and they couldn’t tell us if the bus had arrived or not.  Cue more panic.

Then we found Kings Cross Street, thank the Almighty Lord!  But we couldn’t find the Holiday Inn.  And that led to us LITERALLY RUNNING IN THE SNOW and nearly shouting at a passerby “PLEASE SIR, do you know where the Holiday Inn is we are lost please help us poor tourists!!!”  Except, he too was a tourist.

We stopped for a moment, staring at each other in despair, then wildly glanced around in desperation, searching for anyone ANYONE who could possibly help.

And then we saw it.  Across the street.  As in, across the street which we just walked up.  As in, across the road we had just crossed.  As in, literally right in front of us.  And there, at the crossroads, was the tourist, waving at us and joyfully pointing up at the same hotel.

The Holiday Inn was there.  Right there.  And the brown brick wall which surrounded the building next door to the hotel was the wall we had leant against when frantically calling the bus company nearly crying with anxiety because we couldn’t find the meeting point for the tour.  Go figure, hey.

And it ended up turning out fine because the bus was running quite late due to terrible weather conditions, so despite the drama we actually ended up being right on time.

After about fifteen minutes of waiting in the hotel lobby, we were finally off, safe and sound on the bus!

Snuggled onto the bus, we tried to grab a bit of rest to recover from our wild morning rush and to prepare ourselves for the long day trip ahead.  We were hitting up Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath.  It was going to be a big one, ladies and gentlemen!  To see how the day trip turned out, keep an eye out for the next post!  🙂

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