I now have a new personal best for how far I can sit in a plane, soaked in spilled red wine - fourteen and and a half hours simmering in the stench of wine at 40,000 feet in the king of the skies; a packed Airbus A380. All was well until 40 minutes in they served red wine at the same time dinner was being handed out. Disaster strikes! I was fumbling about vast collection of plastic-foil wrapped landfill on my tiny tray table. A stray wrist clips the front corner of the folding tray table sending wine air-born covering a new pair of cream white chinos. A dramatic display of clumsiness and now 13 hours and 10 minutes of sitting here remain
Fortunately the meal cart was there at the ready, with 10,0000 paper napkins to the rescue. The flight attendants then gave me a free pair of new pocktless pants! Thanks Qatar, so much happiness. I don't think the silent Russian guy sitting next to me was too impressed sitting next to a guy drenched in booze.
Final approach to Hamad International Airport (DOH)
I spent the next 20 minutes after landing in Qatar freaking that I'd already lost my passport. I had used a very poor backpack packing strategy I call "stuff it" and everything was in the wrong place after the wine spill saga. After spilling the contents of my overweight 46L backpack all over the jetway I found it. Phew.
Once inside the terminal I see my flight should have started boarding 10 minutes ago. British Airways is now broadcasting FINAL CALL on the boards. And I still have two sections of security to get past and find the gate in this enormous glass towering airport terminal which ran like a small city with trains transporting you to different gates of the huge space. I wasn't keen on being stranded in 38 degrees I sprinted through the massive airport and took the first passenger train I saw to the boarding gates hoping it was the right one. I made it just.
I was now an absolute sweaty dripping mess still covered in wine wearing pajama pants fumbling about with where to place my phone and papers. I get the empty gate and find yet another security checkpoint. I made it. All of this panic was in vain since people were still boarding about 20 minutes after I sat down. Ugh, 7.5 more hours.
Upon landing into London Heathrow Airport, the customs process was incredibly simple. Not a single queue or human interaction required to cross through into the United Kingdon. Great!
Got a SIM and Oyster card and we're good to spend another two screeching hours in the London Underground to my place in Swiss Cottage. I almost lost my mind when I head the first bright and cheerful british female voice "This is a pick-a-dilly line traveling to Cock-fosters" immature snickering ensued!
After a quick shower & 1 hour power-nap interrupted by a false fire alarm in the room I decided to ignore severe jet-lag and set off to roam the area towards Hamstead Heath. Very nice.
I think this is facing North somewhere in Hamstead Heath with old trees and stuff.
Parliament Hill Viewpoint
Somewhere in Hamstead