Saturday, January 7th, London

My last day in London; laundry one last time; breakfast; trying to check in online for my flight home; by Tube over to the nearest Samsung store to have a tech problem easily answered; the Petrie Museum of Egyptology; by cab to Tate Britain & then back to the hotel; trying to get the receipt printed for my prepaid ride from the airport home; walking down the street past Harrods to take night pictures; a last dinner at Richoux; packing almost everything

Best Western the Cromwell

Slideshow

2/2/2017

My last day here. It was a pretty good day despite some technological problems early this morning and again this evening before dinner.

I did wake up early enough to drop my laundry off downstairs before 8 AM in spite of my not actually having set the alarm before I went to bed. I woke up at 7:30, threw on some clothes and shoes, and took a full laundry bag down to reception. I then went down to the basement for breakfast and came back up here afterwards.

I did go back to bed but I don't think I fell asleep again, just read, rested, and watched something streaming.

Even before I took my shower I decided I'd see if I could check in online for my flights tomorrow, and this is where the first bit of technical and technological problems came in. I had booked my flights through Priceline and the reservation paperwork I had said "Lufthansa operated by United" and listed a confirmation number. I couldn't log in on Lufthansa's web page and called their local number here in London and was told I needed to contact United. I then tried logging in to my flights on United's web site with the same result. I had to call United's toll free # in the US but I was then given United's confirmation number and flight information. I was able to check in online but will still need to get a boarding pass when I check my bags at the airport.

Before I left the hotel I had asked reception to arrange a pickup for my ride to the airport at 5:30 tomorrow morning.

Somehow I had managed to set my Samsung smart phone so that the screen was stuck in portrait mode no matter how I turned my phone. I had tried going through the Settings menu but didn't see anything there. This morning as I was looking up how to get to the Petrie Museum of Egyptology on one of University College London's campuses I noticed that there was a Samsung store between the nearest Tube station to the Petrie museum and the museum so I went there first. It turned out to be quite easy to fix, using a menu that comes up when you swipe from the top of the screen down.

It was a bit of a walk from the Tube station to the Samsung store, and from there over to the Petrie museum. I was getting a bit hungry by then, and there wasn't anywhere to eat near the corner of the UCL campus where the museum is so I had to backtrack a couple of blocks to a very nice older pub, the Marlborough Arms where I had a very nice lunch.

The Petrie Museum is quite small and mostly has small items on display, but makes up in quantity and quality what they lack in size. The museum was created as an adjunct to the teaching mission of the UCL in 1932, and the core of the collection was left to it by Amelia Edwards who was a writer and collector of Egyptian antiquities and greatly expanded by the UCL's own famous Egyptologist and first director of the museum, William Flinders Petrie.

It was cold and grey all day with occasional drizzles. I decided not to make the hike over to the nearest Tube station that could get me all the way over to Tate Britain but took a cab instead. I'm very fond of the TB although most of what I saw at first didn't seem to be particularly British and was more modern than I usually like. It was a pleasant relief to get to the older parts of the collection.

It was grey and cloudy and already dark when I left the TB so I decided to not go anywhere else but caught another cab straight back here to the hotel.

When I got back I asked at reception if they had made my cab pickup reservation and they told me they needed to tell the driver to which terminal I needed to go at Heathrow. I had to come back up here to my room to go online and try and figure out how to find that information on Heathrow's web site and then call back downstairs.

I had also asked if they could print out an email for me, and was told to send it to reception@thecromwell.co.uk, so I brought up the reservation for my prepaid, private shuttle trip from the Ft Lauderdale airport back home and sent it from my laptop. An hour or so later they still hadn't received my email at reception, so I sent it from each of my smart phones. When they didn't receive those either, on my way out for dinner I stopped by the reception desk. I showed the guy on duty that I had sent the email from each phone, so he sent it from my Samsung with the UK SIM card to his own private email, received it there with no problem, and sent it to reception@thecromwell.co.uk from his phone, received it in reception's email with no problem, and printed two copies for me.

It was cold but not raining when I left about 7 PM. I walked all the way down to the Knightsbridge Tube station and back, going down one side of the road and back up the other side, primarily to take pictures of the holiday lights at the Museum of Natural History which still has a merry go round and ice skating rink, and at Harrods which I'm not sure I saw lit up at night on either of my other trips here, but they were both in July when it didn't get dark until much later. I of course took many other pictures of interestingly lit buildings along the way.

I had a very pleasant dinner at the Richoux across the street and enjoyed their version of beef stroganoff.

After I came back here to my room I copied the pictures from my camera over to my laptop and also to my backup USB drive as well. I also packed almost everything except what's here on my desk, the clothes I'm wearing and will wear tomorrow, my toiletries, and a bunch of small stuff.

It's now almost midnight, and time to get to bed and hope I at least get a couple of hours of sleep before I have to wake up at 4 AM to shower, get dressed, finish packing, and get myself and my stuff downstairs before my pickup for the airport at 5:30 for the long day and trips back home.


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