04.05.2014 - 05.05.2014 12 °C
Saturday afternoon in Calgary and, yes, it is still snowing! Like most everyone else, our departure was a welcome opportunity to say goodbye to winter! who thought we would be de-icing our Air Transat Airbus A330 on the third of May! The good news was that we travelled the polar route and in 8 hours were in "jolly old England" and Spring has arrived.
The flight was quite uneventful, always a good thing when you are flying. The fairly new plane offered a wide variety of entertainment giving many a chance to catch up on lots of movies or sleep. Did you know you can watch at least three movies between Calgary and London?
We are travelling as a group of 31, 28 students from four School of Hospitality and Tourism programs and three instructors. How exciting to watch our students experience arrival on a new place, for some the first time they have travelled outside of North America. We were greeted by our enthusiastic and bubbly Contiki tour manager, Bec. Just Bec.....she only gets called by her full name when she is in trouble! Bec is a Perth, Australia native and is so excited to share Europe with all of us.
London is such an iconic city and, once again, it did not disappoint! We came around the corner and looked down the Thames, saw Big Ben, The Parliament Buildings, and the London Eye we knew we weren't in Calgary anymore. We are staying at a massively huge tourist hotel on Russell Square, 3000 rooms in all and London's largest property. Once a hospital, it has been converted to a hotel and there are people EVERYWHERE! Imagine check in for about 2000 people everyday. Yes, it is chaos!
We had a very quick tour of the main sights this afternoon and then had some free time to explore. Many of us headed to the British Museum, home to the largest collection of antiquities 'liberated' from around the world. Of special note and on display is the original Rosetta Stone from Egypt and the Elgin Marbles from Greece.
Enjoy a few photos from the first day in London. Tomorrow is a Bank Holiday and the weather is supposed to be lovely. Londoners and our SAIT group will all be out seeing the sights. We have a free day to explore so it will be fun to here about everyone's adventures.