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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 6
Europe 2005
London, Paris, Normandy, Prague


Carol and David  
Day 18
London / Home

In spite of the fact that there was very little street noise from the nearby Trafalgar Square VE Day celebration, we slept just ok probably nerves about the trip home and sadness about leaving.


We woke at 5am, showered, dressed and finished packing. The day is sunny but chilly.


Victoria Station

After another quick English breakfast at the hotel, then we went back to our room on the eighth floor, grabbed our bags, and bid farewell to the Strand Palace, Trafalgar Square, the Thames, and London, as we sped by taxi to Victoria Station where we caught the Gatwick Express to the airport. It is a beautiful sunny morning as the Express winds through the green English countryside south of London.


When we arrived at Gatwick Airport, we quickly found the Continental check-in area where we were invited to relax and wait in the President's Lounge due to our 1st class status. On the way there we had to pass through security and there were very long lines. But a woman came up to us and asked if we minded being part of a test she said we would get through security more quickly and we followed her to the front of the line where our bags were weighed, we were checked and we soon found ourselves exiting security and headed into the President's lounge. I still don't know what happened back there but I like it.


Carol sipping coffee in the President's Lounge at London's Gatwick Airport.


At 9:00 we boarded the familiar Continental B77-200. We have taken this same flight home on all of our trips. We cannot rave about the Continental service enough definitely our favorite airline.


We love Continental


Flying 1st Class is the way to go...


At 9:30am England fell away below us as we started our 9 hour west-bound flight to Houston, Texas and the USA. The flight initially took us west across the British lowlands, Southhampton, Plymouth, past Land's End, into the Celtic Sea, south of Cork, Ireland, out into the vast blue Atlantic, Iceland and Greenland to the north, Bay of Biscay to the south. Nothing but thousands of miles of ocean below 36,000 feet below us - as Carol and I watched Coach Carter on the fantastic Continental personal entertainment centers, Kir Royale in our hands as we toasted to yet another incredible, adventurous, delicious and fun chapter of Our Magnificent Journey.


As we pass Land's End, the last bit of England glides by beneath our plane.  Next stop, Houston.


We enjoyed an unbelievable lunch of fresh rolls, smoked duck and fig with asparagus, smoked salmon and cheese tart, salad with tomato and cheese, shrimp scampi with rice, lamb, port wine and ice cream sundae. Incredible.


We are now about a third of the way across the Atlantic . Our altitude is 40,000 feet, our airspeed is 533 mph and the outside temperature is -74F. We have 7 more hours until we reach Houston. The first point of land we will reach on the North American continent, as always, is Gander, New Foundland. There a southwesterly headwind across the continental (pun intended) US.


Somewhere over the Atlantic


We touched down in Houston at 7pm, London time, cleared customs/immigration, then relaxed and reminisced in the Continental President's club until our flight to Tucson at 6pm Houston time (midnight London time.)


Great trip, missing Europe, but happy to be home.


Arrived back in Tucson at 1:30am London time (6:30pm Monday Tucson time,) dead on our feet but with smiles on our faces.


Tucson sunset


Pedometer reading for today - 3 miles

Total pedometer miles - 113.75 miles

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