Saturday, July 21, 2012

Woke Up in London Yesterday

Up until last fall, I never thought I'd actually be able to say I woke up in London yesterday, but I DID. On Thursday I arrived at Heathrow airport, and Shannon came to find me in my terminal. We're staying with her mom's friend's daughter in East London, and we're walking distance from Tower Bridge where the Olympic rings are hanging!

The first thing we did was get on the underground trains (like the NYC subways) to make our way all the way across London to where we would be staying. I was lugging three suit cases, so it was hard, and it took almost two hours. I did get to talk with an English businessman with a cool accent, however. He travels the world for business consulting and looked like he stepped out of a business magazine of some kind.

Shannon and I had our Olympic worker passes on, so this one lady asked me about it. When I told her we were from the United States, she asked if we were freelancers. Well, yes, we kind of are, and it sounds a lot cooler when we put it that way.

When I stepped outside of the train station for the first time, I was amazed. It was so beautiful, and the air even smelled different. I was exhausted, hungry, tired, sweaty, and thirsty, but it was still so amazing to be here. I'd gotten only about two hours of sleep on the plane, and even though it was only 6:00 p.m., it felt a lot later than that to me!

The next day (yesterday, Friday), we managed to get up bright and early to see to walk across Tower Bridge.


We walked to the Tower of London. We had to pay to get in, but it was really neat, and we had a super funny tour guide.

We got to hear about the interesting history, walk through the different buildings associated with the tower including this neat chapel where some famous people were buried. And then we saw the crown jewels, which were so amazing we weren't even allowed to take pictures of them. I'll bet all the stuff in there is worth millions of dollars. It was incredible!

So, on the first day we experienced torrential rain, which I guess is part of the London experience. Good thing I brought my umbrella! My shoes and the bottom two feet of my pants got soaked anyway though, and I kinda wish I'd brought my rain boots. 

In London, people drive on the left side of the street, and the steering wheel is in the right side of the car. Although it was a little strange to see that, at least I was aware of it before I got here. What I didn't know was that pretty much everyone just seems to want to run you over. Most people are in a hurry here, so running you over would just be a nuisance because later they'd have to scrape your remains from their tire tracks.

Later we went to see St. Paul's Cathedral, which Shannon really liked. Then we went to The Anchor, which is a really old restaurant where Shakespeare supposedly hung out in his day. Pretty cool, huh?

We ate fish and chips, which is another London necessity I've been told. And let me tell you, it was some GOOD fish. Like, REALLY good fish.

There are a lot of random street performers here, just like there were in San Francisco. I've seen them play violins, guitars, drums, sing... and there was even one dude playing the xylophone. For real.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll write about what we did today. I've got some writing to do. I mean other writing. My book. :)

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