Subject: Heathrow Layover & Stockholm
Hi, Mollie. I am afraid that it is too short the time to get into London, although it can be done. The Paddington Express runs from Heathrow into Paddington Station every 15 minutes, but the price is 12 pounds each way, that makes 24 pounds a return ticket, and you have to multiply that by the people in your group (I seem to recall you were 4, that is 96 pounds, a nice amount of money). Probably you will be arriving tired after the long flight, and if you are not flying carry-on, you will have to wait until you get your luggage. Afterwards you will have to get the train (15/20 minutes into London), or the tube (45 minutes at least, but cheap) or a pre- booked van (nice, if you are a few people, but also a long drive into London). Check in at the hotel between 9.30 and 10.00 pm, fall into bed, and get up early. If your flight is due at 8 o´clock in the morning, I would try to be there at least at 7 o´clock (that´s not enough time for me, I always try to be there at least 1,5 hours ahead, better 2, a bit too much, I know), so you can imagine how early you should wake up that morning. I know perfectly well that it is such a pity not to be able to enjoy London at least for a couple of hours, but I don´t know how could be done, without getting too tired and without spending too much money.

But now, a couple of options: - Last year, I had a meeting outside of London. As I had to go there for three days, I decided to stay in London and travel with the train, but the people that were flying only to the meeting stayed at a hotel in Windsor (don´t remember the name). They said that it was better than staying at one of the hotels surrounding Heathrow. - If you decide to stay in Heathrow, I have discovered that dear old french chain IBIS has a hotel at the airport (see URL below, or check their web :, look for IBIS and London ), and their rate is 58 GBP. They have a coach service to the different terminals, I think they have a charge for this service, but it shouldn´t be high.

I hope all of this is useful for you, Mollie, and I hope that you enjoy your time in Sweden. When in Stockholm, go to the Sweden House. They have plenty of info and a very good library (in several languages) on the top floor. I bought last year Gosta Berling´s Saga, by Selma Lagerlof (interesting book, try to get it), and I cried all the way back home in the plane. I was in February there, and I tried the new Arlanda Express. Nice train, and fast, but the price is 120 SKr against 60 SKr the bus, and the bus is also very fast and reliable. So choose whatever you want, and you won´t go wrong. Have a brilliant time,

Covadonga in (very, very rainy and cold) Bilbao, Spain.