Subject: Latest news from London
Hello everybody. I am back from a weekend break in London. In short, the weather was OK (although on Sunday it was quite wet), cold and not very windy. We ate at Wagamama and in a small japanese restaurant near Chinatown, Misato. We already knew them and it wasn´t bad. Probably my sister got the best part in both cases. There are Starbucks all over the place, and Pret a Manger goes as strong as ever. London is outrageously expensive, especially with the bad exchange rate againts the Euro (we´ll have to travel to more friendly places, sigh...)

We had our return plane at 10:20 from Stansted Airport, and we had thought of getting a train out of Liverpool Street Station to the airport by 07:30. I tried to get the hotel concierge to book a taxi for us for Monday morning (but I still don´t know if they couldn´t or if they wouldn´t do it), and he told us that we shouldn´t have a problem to hail a taxi from the taxi stand at the hotel. Well, when we left at 6.30 in the morning, we hailed a couple of taxis but they wouldn´t go to Liverpool St (too far away, too much traffic, you´re a ******* tourist and walk). The last answer almost killed me. I guess the taxi drivers were the kings of London yesterday, and they also were replying in a very rude manner to english people, so...

We tried to get a bus to Trafalgar Square and from there to get the 11 to Liverpool, but there was so much people in the buses that they wouldn´t stop (we were staying at the Forte Posthouse Hotel near High Street Kensington). At around 8 o´clock we decided to get the C1 bus to Victoria Station. When we arrive there, at 8.45, we found that the buses going out to the airport were running late, and that most likely we would miss our flight out. I called to GO, but as we were flying on a very cheap ticket,. they wouldn´t change us to an evening flight into Madrid (we had thought of flying there and getting back to Bilbao by bus). They recommended me to get to the airport and try to convince the people at the check-in to let us go in another flight. So we called our reliable travel agent (God bless her, she was already in her office before opening time, I don´t know what I would do) and told her to try to get us out of Victoria Station. While I was explaining the whole story, she was already booking two return tickets for that afternoon with IBERIA, a new offer of 100 pounds per person, and looking for the timetable of the buses to Heathrow. We headed out to Heathrow, picked up our tickets at the Iberia office, found the Internet points in Departures, sent out a few postcards per e-mail (free of charge) to tell everybody we were OK and coming back), and collapsed there. The rest was more or less normal. A walk to terminal 1, eating fish and chips there, buy a few books and a 1 Kg box of jelly babies, and a normal flight with an almost there landing in Bilbao and flying off to Vitoria because of the very strong winds. IBERIA put a bus and drove us to Bilbao. They stopped first at the airport, and afterwards we stopped in the centre of the city. A short taxi drive, and we arrived home at midnight.

Sorry for my story to be so long, but it was hell. I have slept just four hours, and I am not sure when I´ll be coming back to London. I like it, but in the last times I have found Paris and the parisians to be much more friendly.

Well, that´s all from Bilbao. The weather is surprisingly mild, I am afraid something bad will be coming for this weekend.

Rgds from Covadonga Bilbao - Spain