Tuesday, July 25.
So how do you spend 9 hours in London? Why, you hit the streets, of course! You also take the wrong train out of the airport and see a part of London you might not normally see (the gentleman taking our tickets described it as a"boyfriend spying" neighborhood), you get all day Tube passes and thank goodness, because you are off and on all day just trying to get on the right line; you walk your feet into oblivion and you have to race across streets because Brits don't slow down for pedestrians and they drive like maniacs, too. You get to see some beautiful sites like St. Paul's Cathedral, the Hall of Justice (complete with protesting outside) The University of London, and Buckingham Palace Road, which of course you don't take because you're already running out of time. You pass a million Starbucks stores (go figure - I thought the British were only big on tea!) and never once stop to take authentic tea somewhere. You get down to the underground and find out that:
1. It's steaming hot and no A/C
2. People here in Europe don't wear deodorant
3. People are sweating all around and everywhere you go
4. It all combines to make a smelly situation
Nice British touches to our day was a sighting of a quintessential British gentleman - umbrella and all - lovely voice accents everywhere, beautiful, old, old buildings, walking in places I might never have been to had we known where we were going exactly (we took the Tube from Victoria Station to Charing Cross, we then walked from there to Westminster- and if you have never been to London, then you should know that it is not all in the same area!) and yet we were mixed with the true "Londoners" because we weren't in the tourist places. London was everything I expected it to be, except for one thing: filth. I was wearing flip-flops and by the time I returned to the airport, my shoes and toes were both black. Still, it was great to get out and see London, albeit for a short time. I would love to come back...