London and the Scandinavian Capitals
(London, Copenhagen, Warnermunde, Stockholm & Helsinki)
Wednesday, 10 August. We left our home in Massanutten, Virginia, around 2:00 and drove to our son Randall’s house in Culpeper. Our grand daughter Caren drove us to Washington’s Dulles Airport. We arrived there at 4:50 for our 7:00 p.m. flight to London. We were flying Virgin Atlantic for the first time and, when we saw the chaos in the long line at the check-in counter, we thought the flight was going to be a disaster.
This impression was reinforced when, after boarding at 6:10, we didn’t pull away from the gate until 7:35. Even so, we were impressed with the friendliness of the woman at the check-in counter, and the flight attendants were the nicest we had seen in years. By the time dinner was served at 8:30, we were convinced that Virgin Atlantic was great. The rest of our flight, and the return, only confirmed this impression.
Thursday, 11 August. We didn’t have much chance to sleep. The cabin lights came on at 5:30 a.m. (12:30 a.m. EDT), and breakfast was served at 6:00. Our flight landed at Heathrow at 7:15 and we were through immigration and customs by 8:00. The GCT representative was waiting for us and had us to the Regency Hotel in South Kensington before 9:00. The weather was warm and pleasant.
The hotel was old, but very nice. Because not all the rooms were ready at such an early hour (ours was), the manager offered all of us a free buffet breakfast. Even though we’d already eaten on the plane, we decided to have it. First, though, I phoned Peter Buell-Faye, a very distant cousin, who had also been researching our common Peck ancestors of the early 16th century. We had been in touch by e-mail and were eager to meet. He lived in the London area and agreed to meet us at the hotel about 3:30.
We finished breakfast about 10:00 and rested about four hours. Then we unpacked before going down for the orientation walk scheduled for 3:00. The walk was interesting, but went well beyond the promised 30 minutes. At 3:30, I left the group and rushed back to the hotel. Peter was waiting. Jane joined us a bit later, and we all had a very enjoyable talk. In fact, we continued talking over a light supper at a nearby restaurant and didn’t break up until 9:30. Jane and I were exhausted and went right to bed.