Ahoy from the other side of the pond!
I made it here all in one (sleepy) piece, including all my luggage. My flights were easy and somewhat boring – Icelandair is not a fan of free things and hence only had paid food both times, though I was riding for more than 8 hours. (A little rude if you ask me!) Here’s hoping that Turkish Airlines has a better deal on the way home, but I’m not really worried about that yet.
Mostly because I’m having a BLAST here. In the second half of day one, I unpacked every so slightly, then decided to prove to myself that I was really here by seeing a local (no, national… no, international) landmark with my two eyes, so I walked all the way to Big Ben. It was even better than I remembered – this tower is quickly becoming my favorite thing in the city, now that I’ve seen it in all weather (helloooo London fall!).
I also wandered around Westminster a bit, trying not to get hit by a car. More on that later…
Today, I did even more. I started my day with the local tapas bar’s version of a vegetarian English breakfast – all for £4.10, including the coffee (and the required British side dish of secondhand smoke – coughcoughcough). Still, it was delicious, though I don’t think I need to eat mushrooms for breakfast every single day.
Then I walked around my ‘hood a bit to see what was up. I discovered that Oval “park” is a cricket pitch, not a place I can sit and read a book. Good thing there are enough other places that meet that criteria!
In the afternoon, I explored Covent Garden, Charing Cross, etc. taking in the sights and trying to stay out of the rain when possible. No matter where I went, it was just so good to be back in this weird and wonderful land. And then the ride home was incredible, as it took me past Big Ben. I don’t know if I’ll ever take the Underground if I can help it, the bus is so great!Finally, because it was Mountain Day, I met up with some MoHos for ice cream and college reminiscing. Perfection!
So far, everything is great, but there are definitely challenges ahead:
- Not walking too much – I logged 16,000 steps today aka 7.5 miles! Great, but also could be extremely exhausting on days when I actually have to do something, so I need to find some activities that don’t all involve walking or standing.
- Remembering to eat – I got so excited today that I kind of forgot to eat for way too long, which doesn’t go well with #1 and resulted in getting a bit lost. Snacks all the way, and just generally eating good food when I find it.
- Not spending all my money – I WANT EVERYTHING! Seriously, everything. I didn’t even stop walking at Jubilee Hall because I knew if I did, I would spend all my money. I have a while to be here, so I have to remember to pace myself.
- Not getting hit by a car – this one is non-negotiable, and it’s slowing me down but I’m never crossing without a light because the traffic here is making my head spin. Sidewalk – sorry, pavement – traffic is rough enough, but the streets are out of control. I saw a grown man almost get hit by a bus but his friends pulled him out of the way by his backpack just in time. Not I – I would rather be the silly person waiting at every light while others run just to be on the safe side (literally).
I think if I can do those four things (and maybe also remember to sleep), this adventure will be top notch. It’s certainly off to a smashing start! Stay tuned for a few more updates this week!
(All photos are my own)