Off we go today to London where it’s warmer than where we left.
Sitting in steerage class, aka coach, wasn’t so bad as we had bulkhead seats, but just not possible to sleep. Arrival at Heathrow airport, where there’s no jetway and we get to haul our baggage down the stairs to the terminal bus. Customs clearance is orderly, but a nightmarish line. 70 minute line for non EU/UK passports.
We’ve seen this before, but always remark at the “city” underneath the terminals where the busses run, luggage and freight is transported. A maze of narrow roadways full of traffic.
Then to the underground (Tube) to go into the city , which means we have to change terminals as the Tube doesn’t run from this terminal (#3), only Heathrow Express, which is £22 or about $32, per person, one way. The Tube was about £6 per person, one way, though obviously not “express”. It pays to check out the options beforehand.
Trump isn’t getting great reviews in one newspaper for the air strike against Syria, in which the U.K. and France participated.
There’s some backlash from some of the MPs and Theresa May (Prime Minister) has called an emergency debate in Parliament.
My experiment with Google Fi started on our arrival. Google has a cellular service called Fi. It primarily works with certain Google branded phones (I have a Nexus 6P and an iPhone X). It claims to provide 3 and 4 G coverage in 171 countries. My US cellular provider provides free 2G. Maybe you don’t remember what 2G was like. It was fine for phone calls, but excruciatingly slow for data, like watching grass grow. Fi’s pricing is pretty attractive — $20/ mo for talk & text and $10/gig of data up to 6 gigs; after 6gig, there’s no additional charge , but they will slow you down at 15 gig. So your max charge is $80/month. You can start/stop service without a charge. And where I get good speed, I can tether other devices to the Fi phone and all the data usage is part of that plan. Of course Google has coverage in the US as well (through Sprint, T-Mobile and others), but I added this service specifically for international travel and data. I wouldn’t want to use this service at home as I typically use in excess of 15gig of mobile data/month, but it might work for you.
Arriving in Heathrow you’ll find a number of machines and even a few shops selling SIMs. If your phone is unlocked (most US phones aren’t because of the way they’re sold/we buy) you would be able to swap one of these for yours. Your phone’s radio type is also important, as it has to support GSM. Data plans for US carriers for international data have come down in price, but still way more than using a prepaid.
Nap time for us.
Until later, Cheers!