Sat 17 Dec Took a taxi to the station and stored our luggage for 3 hours (£25) while we looked at the Railway Museum which was free and really good. They had lots of different engines from a range of countries and eras – one was enormous. In the days of horse drawn trains, the horse would pull up the hills and catch a ride down the hills. A bonus was that when we went back to catch our train there were two steam trains at the station. Our train went express to London. Matthew and Chris were seated opposite a man who gave them a non-stop commentary – which they actually really enjoyed.
Arrived at Kings Cross at 4 pm and found our apartment easily – diagonally over the road. As with all our accommodation, I had gone on street view on Google maps and printed out the photo to make places easy to spot! We were met by ‘Modo’ the owner, with the key – in return for £1408.36 in cash! The apartment is first floor, very convenient to the station and lots of takeaways and a small supermarket directly below. There’s a tiny kitchen, bathroom, separate room with desk for the boys and room with table, chairs and double sofa bed. Now the downside – it was freshly painted and smelled strongly of enamel paint; it took ages to warm up as the windows were open when we arrived (due to the paint smell); the oven didn’t work; apart from saucepans, utensils and tableware, there was no other cooking equipment – no chopping board, microwave dish, containers. There is one tiny cupboard and 2 shelves in the kitchen – nowhere to put any food or utensils except on the window sill, tiny bench space or floor! We later discovered that some of the paint was still wet – where there were big ‘blobs’. The new flooring had big gaps at the walls and doorways and there was a lot of messy exposed plumbing pipe. The owner seemed very proud of his renovations, so we didn’t complain!
But the biggest downside was the traffic noise – this is probably the busiest intersection in London and the sirens, horns and voices continued all night – such is the price of a convenient location. Fortunately we had earplugs from the plane!