I got off the plane at Heathrow airport in London. I looked for someone holding a sign for our tour company. And there he was. After gathering a number of us young tourists, we headed to our hotel.
Our hotel was named “Castle Hotel.” I remember it being a bit worn, as maybe the sign for its name suggests. Our room was okay, but right in the middle of it, there was a contraption on the wall that folded down into a shower. I had never seen anything like that before! I don’t remember if we had a bathroom in our room.
The sign on the corner of the building says, “Castletown Road W 14.” When I search for this on Google maps, I can’t seem to find the location exactly. I do find Castletown road, along with a building named “Kensington Luxury Apartments.” It doesn’t look exactly the same, but close. It looks like a nice area now.
Somewhere between the airport and the Castle Hotel, I met Diane Stevens. And we just clicked. She was from Florida, maybe Boca Raton. Maybe not. She had a new boyfriend that she was excited about. His name may have been Garland. Or Gunther. Oh, it is tough to remember details from 42 plus years ago!
Diane and I became fast friends. We were told that our group would not be doing any activities until the next day as we were waiting for everyone to arrive. It was early in the afternoon, and even though we were tired from our flight, Diane and I set out to explore.
We took the tube to Buckingham Palace. I’d never been on a subway before, but it was easy to use. Just follow the colors on the map. We were able to watch the “Changing of the Guards” at Buckingham Palace. I could hardly believe I was in London.
Here’s a few photos from our afternoon in London:
With all the crowd, how did I get some of these pictures? I believe we stood up on the steps of the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace.
For all you young folk, before there were selfies, cameras had timers on them. That’s how you could get a picture with yourself in it. One would set the timer and then run to be in the picture. If you were fast enough, you made it.
Diane asked me if I wanted to go to a play with her later that evening. She said some of her friends had highly recommended it. I said, “Sure!” I was going to the theatre in London. I had really arrived.
The play was one I had not heard of before. We took the Tube and found it easily. From what I can tell with Google research, we went to the Comedy Theater which is now the Harold Pinter Theatre.
After the show, Diane eagerly asked me, “Did you like it?” I wasn’t sure what I had just seen. I wasn’t sure if I liked it. I just didn’t know. But, wanting to be liked by new friend, I said, “Yes, it was great.” I don’t believe we ever talked about it again. Perhaps you’ve heard of the play we saw.
It was “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
Next up: Meeting the group and a bit more London