First of all, I am so glad we found so cheap flight tickets from Stockholm (Sweden) to Los Angeles (USA). We got return tickets for only 313€. The flights were operated by British Airways and American Airlines. Both of which were very enjoyable for us.
Since we arrived at Arlanda Airport (Stockholm, Sweden) quite early, we had to wait for about 11 hours there. The waiting wasn’t very bad for us, because it was daytime and we had just started our travel. Also, we were very excited about our trip. In the airport, after going through the security, there were very comfortable couches where we could sit and rest. We had taken some crosswords with us so that we could have something to do while waiting (You can find more ideas of what to do in an airport while waiting for your flight in my other blog post).
Our next stop was in London. The flight was about 3 hours. It was quite nice. We arrived at London Heathrow Airport at about 8 pm. Since our flight to Los Angeles was the next day at noon, we decided to book a budget room near the airport. We figured that everything is better than sleeping on airport chairs.
Arriving in London
We had booked a cheap room at Heathrow Lodge. Luckily, even the bus transport from the airport to the stop near the accommodation was free. I was overwhelmed by the neighborhood. I had been to London before a couple of times (you can read about the last time I was in London, here), but never in this side of the city (more of that at the end of the post). When we got the keys to our room, at first, we had a little misunderstanding about where is our room.
The administrator said our room is in the other house next to the main building. He also said that it would be on the first floor and the room number is 10. We got inside, walked in the corridor and found only 4 rooms. Then we remembered that in England when you say the FIRST FLOOR you mean the floor upstairs. The stairs were very narrow and covered with a carpet. We found our room at the end of the corridor.
I unlocked the door and we went in. When I first saw the room I was so excited. I don’t know why but I really liked the room. Because it was a budget room we didn’t expect much from it. The room was actually quite ordinary. Two twin beds, a sink, a mirror, and the coffee and tea facilities. But somehow I was very excited about it all. I think it was because of the neighborhood. It was all just very English for me. To be honest, the beds in the room were quite horrible. It was kind of painful to sleep on it but I still thought it was better than being at the airport at night. At least we had a little bit of privacy.
The night in London
So, about the neighborhood… It was amazing. I kind of got the cultural shock when we arrived there. I am really into great buildings and especially old houses. The street was filled with old houses which were all so new to me. The neighborhood seemed so English. I really loved it. Even though I had been to London and England before, I had never noticed the style that these houses had. We spent the evening walking around the neighborhood, taking pictures. At some point, we went to eat at McDonald’s.
There were some kids surrounding the table next to us in McDonald’s. They were everywhere, on the table, under the table, and on the chairs. The food was also everywhere. It looked like chaos. I was wondering if those kids are there all by themselves. Then I saw that this table had some kind of games on it, like on a tablet computer. One of the kid’s mom seemed to have a date next to the kid’s table. She didn’t pay much of her attention to the kids who were crawling on the table.
In Heathrow Lodge
Back in our budget room, we decided to stay up as long as we can so that we could sleep on a flight that lasted about 11 hours. It was very hard to stay awake. We planned to go to sleep at 2 am and then wake up at 7 am. Although it was very difficult to not fall asleep earlier, we made it and got up very well.
In the morning after our check out, we went to the bus stop and waited for the bus to take us to the airport. Our hotel administrator told us which bus takes us there. Unfortunately, we were waiting on the other side of the road and lost our first bus. The bus driver told us that we should wait on the other side. So we went there and waited for another half an hour or so. I already started thinking about what should we do if we miss our flight or something. We still had a little less than 3 hours before our flight so I tried not to stress too much.
At Heathrow Airport
At the airport, we went through security and saw that even our gate number is not up yet. I knew I had about 8 pounds in my purse from the trip to England in 2013 so I figured I could use those to buy some water. When I gave my coins to the cashier, she said that this money isn’t valid anymore. Then I handed her the £5 that I had in my purse. But even that was too old. She said that next time I come to England I can change these into the new money that they have now. I was very surprised that I cannot use these pounds. I mean these are still pounds so why can’t I use these?
When we finally got to our gate some guy came to us asked us for our tickets and took a look at them. Then he said that my friend has to go to the tables where the people there check her suitcase and I had to go to the visa check. Basically, they asked my friend to take almost everything out of her suitcase and then they scanned it or something. And for me, the people at the counter just asked me a few questions and I showed them my passport.
The long flight to Los Angeles
At first, I was a bit scared of that flight because I had never been on such a long flight before. But the flight was very enjoyable. We got a meal twice and drinks whenever we wanted without paying anything extra. The only downside was that our seats weren’t next to us. We sat in the middle but we both had the aisle seats, so my friend was sitting right in front of me.
The plane was huge and it seemed totally packed up. The toilet which was basically right behind me was occupied almost the entire flight and it wasn’t the only toilet in the plane. At some point, after the meal, they turned off the lights so that people could sleep. During that time there was a little less moving in the aisle.
Another thing interesting thing on our flight was that for dinner we got pizza which was in a rectangular little box. The taste of it was so good. I enjoyed it very much. We even got a little snack before the meals which were nice. The flight attendants were very friendly and we arrived in Los Angeles one hour earlier.