May 6, 2011
One of the first things I’m always struck by when arriving in Europe is the ubiquitous attention to energy conservation. Approaching an escalator on our way to baggage reclamation, I noticed it was moving very slowly, but when we got to within about foot, the moving stairs kicked into a normal pace—save those watts. You find this kind of attention to reducing energy waste all over the place. Many hotel hallways are kept at a dim light level until you trip motion sensors. To enable the lights in your room, insert your keycard in a receptacle just inside the door. Reducing waste isn’t all that hard.
I digress. BA flight from Phoenix was full, but fine. A quick trip on the Heathrow Express train into central London, a half hour in tube and a five minute walk took us to our Premier Inn Tower Hill lodging. ‘Premier’ may be a bit of a heady moniker for this inn, but the accommodations will certainly be adequate for our short, albeit busy stay.
No time to waste. We checked in, dropped our bags and headed back to Minories Pub we’d passed on the walk to the hotel. It’s nice when one of the toughest decisions you have to make all days is which of the 25+ draft and cask beers you have to choose from. The pub also had a rather interesting acoustic attribute in that it’s located directly underneath a rather busy series of railroad tracks. Every minute the clack and rumble of a train passing overhead tried its best to shake the bubbles from your ale.
Recharged from the pub visit and too late for a nap, we decided to suck it up and stay up a few more hours until an almost reasonable local bedtime. What’s a couple of days without sleep when you’re having fun? With no destination in mind, it was out the door and we ended up heading over the Thames via the Tower Bridge. We must have been dehydrated from the flight because we’d barely made it to the far side of the bridge when another pub called. Two more tough choices from a vast selection of brew and it was time to call it a day.