Salute 2006

My first Salute! And my third visit to London! We came to London for four days, so it war possible to see a little bit more than only the airport and the exhibition hall.
On Friday morning we arrived in Stansted (my first flight!!) and drove to Victoria station by bus. There we changed to the Underground to reach our hotel in Hammersmith. The Hotel Orlando is a small but very comfortable hotel.

Our hotel

The house is very small!

It is a quarter of an hour away from the City but that is acceptable. As soon as we reached the hotel we left it again to go SHOPPING! :) Only Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Covent Garden were planned, but after half of the way our feet ached badly.
Harrods is so fantastic!! We bought nothing because everything is very expensive there, but looked at everything till we had enough. The Food Halls, with the fresh food were the eye catcher for us little gourmets.

The fish-hall of Harrods

Here you can find tea and cookies

So many tasty things!!

Wonderful decorations

The "Egyptian Escalators"

We went to the Hyde Park afterwards to rest a few minutes on a bench near the river (now we began to feel tired because we got up on 3 o’clock in the morning) before we took the Underground to Picadilly Circus. There we wanted to visit Fortnum & Mason, but it was very hard to find, because we were looking for it on the Regent Street and found it on Picadilly Street (sometimes Travel Guides are not very precise!). It is famous for the many teas and marmalades they sell. In the end we found it with the help of many very friendly citizens of London who answered our questions about the way with much patience.
But after a little shopping here we had to return to our hotel, to spend a beautiful evening with the Freebooter crew which was accommodated in the same hotel.

Saturday was the day of the Salute 06. After a one-hour journey we arrived at the Excel centre. I did not have it imagined soooo big!! We then found our exhibition in one of the 14 halls after a short while. There was so much to see! We were grateful for the booth plan because we wanted to miss nothing and the exhibition was a bit complex. Of course we had to begin at the Freebooter booth. After that we went immediately to Heresy to see if they brought the new Netherlord, before he would be sold out. Of course it was not sold out and therefore it became the first loot! These fair discounts are so enticingly!! Hasselfree, Crocodile Games, Spyglass and many other companies, of which you can’t see much here in Germany (jet?), were of course there too. And were attacked immediately by us. The games tables of different organizations were also very interesting. Everything was represented, from historical till fantasy and Scince Fiction. The painting competition was also an eye catcher. There was a small misunderstanding with the categories. I thought that I had won in the category for the under 18 years old (the Youngsters) with my Yorick, but it was corrected afterwards, and now I made a second place in the Diorama category. After 7 hours walking on a concrete ground we had aching feet and enough miniatures bought to sweep happily back to the hotel. In the evening we wanted to meet our friends of Freebooter and Marike Reimer along with her sales manageress from Crocodile games. I was surprised how good everyone understood my spoken English (or they were to polite to tell me otherwise! ;) ). Because a lack of practise it is more difficult for me to speak it, than to write or read it.

This was the exhibition hall

This canon stood guard at the entrance.

The prices for the painting and gaming competitions

The winner of the day: Marike Reimer

And this is her winning miniature, it won three prices on this day!!

The Freebooter crew

Tired but happy....and hungry!!

We found a wonderful quiche at the freebooter booth! Ready to loot!!!!!

Finally!!! Something to eat!!

The drill area

A column from Warmachine

A water scenario

The waves looked really good

Not everything was small

This ships were really stunning

The word airship gets a new meaning here!!

Starship Troopers

A chariot race a'la Ben Hur

A second air combat, but this time the whole earth is at stake!!

The Sunday was dedicated to the museums. Since Speakers corner unfortunately was deserted because of the rain and we were not lucky enough to experience any speaker, we went to the natural history museum first. The dinosaur exhibition with a life-size T Rex who moved and shouted was particularly impressive. The building itself was very fantastic!! The "Earth Gallery" was my favourite part of the museum. You can find everything that one must know about our earth. Everything is described with many examples one can look at and partly also join in and touch. After that we went to the nearby science museum in which we found models of original sized lunar modules and rockets.

What is this building for?

Animals as decorations! A zoo?

No! It is the natural history museum! The architecture is fantastic!

This is the escalator to the "Earth Gallery"

And where is the next museum??

Now we went back for a last dinner with the crew and paid attention that it was not too late when we got to bed so that we do not risk to miss the flight the next day!