If you've been following me on Twitter, you'll know that we went to London this week. It was a fantastic, if at times stressful few days. Even being used to the Festival crowds in Edinburgh doesn't quite cut it when you get to the busy-ness of London. And while hot sunny weather is fabulous if you're sitting out in the garden with a Gin and Tonic in hand, walking round a city becomes a sticky, oppressive nightmare.
Part of the reason we'd dithered for so long about whether to go to London was the expense. Even with travelling by train with a Family railcard and staying in a Travelodge rather than anywhere remotely pleasant, we could have had a week in Mallorca for the price of 48 hours in London. And you wonder why tourism struggles in this country.
We knew the Travelodge, the Royal Scot at Kings Cross, the cheapest we could find at £90 a night would be hot and basic. We expected that it might be clean and functional. Well, that glass was a bit too full.
Look what we found in our wardrobe - someone else's dirty socks.
And then when I went to put our clothes in the drawer:
A pretty poor show.
We were on the fourth floor but saw a great deal of the stairs as only one of the three lifts was working and going on that felt a bit like taking your life in your hands. There was the time the doors wouldn't open at a particular floor - although thankfully that panic was over within a minute or so. Then there was the blood curdling scraping noise as it went down on the last morning, There was just no way I was carrying our heavy bag down 8 flights of stairs.
They also need to think that if there are three people staying in the room, then we need three lots of towels. They got that wrong both days.
We certainly won't be staying there again, and the experience has put us off Travelodge, which we'd used a lot up until now.
That is, pretty much, the moaning over. Now to write about the many pleasant parts of our trip.