Ned Luberecki and Stephen Mougin are touring this month in England, and Stephen has sent along a travelogue of their time across the pond. Day 1 is his trip from the US to the UK.
I arrived in London early on Monday morning. After a couple of shows with the Sam Bush Band on Thursday and Friday (Roanoke and Richmond respectively), I drove to Boston to catch a direct (YAY!) Virgin Atlantic flight to London Heathrow. The plane was fairly empty and I was fortunate to re-locate to a row adjoining a hallway. Awesome leg room! Six hours in the air seemed like a good idea, but it actually wasn’t enough travel time to get a decent amount of sleep. I got about two hours of interrupted sleep before they started serving breakfast, then I was up for the day. A long wait through customs, while they got my work visa activated, and baggage claim led to a nice adventure through the “tube” (London Underground Trains). Nedski told me where to head where he, and his lovely bride Kelley, would be awaiting my arrival.
Ned and Kelley have been exploring London since Thursday morning and had been emailing me about our “hotel” (which, frighteningly, always appeared in quotations when Ned spoke of it…). They warned me it was small… they weren’t kidding. It was booked on booking.com, who evidently had never actually been to this place. Oh, well. It was a bed… mine was broken and had to be replaced the first night I was there so I wouldn’t roll onto the floor.
Anyway, after a quick shower and a croissant that Kelley rescued from breakfast, they took me out and about. Mrs. Luberecki is a gal with a plan! We walked all over London to see Buckingham Palace, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and a bunch of other places. There was a free concert at St Martins of the Field cathedral and it was a wonderful performance by the Rautio Piano Trio from Brittan, Israel, and Russia. They didn’t play any cabin songs… I enjoyed it, but have to admit I dozed off a couple of times during the performance (hey, I only got two hours of sleep!). It’s really neat to hear that music in the same type of space (church) it was written for!
We stopped for fish and chips, some nice pastries, and ended the evening with some nice Mediterranean food.
The goal was to keep me awake until dark. And I did. Barely!