Day one…officially on vacation and in another country. Wheels are down at 2:20 London time. It’s a bit cloudy and cool but no rain.
Our approach to the customs line brings a sinking feeling to my stomach. It’s a cattle line about 30 m long and 10 rows. Full. On the bright side (I guess), there are about 30 more rows that are completely empty. It would appear it can get considerably more crowded.
Despite appearances, we’re cleared through in about 20 minutes which I thought was impressive. The shuttle to our hotel arrived and we opened the door to our new ‘home’ at about 4:30.
Now comes our first experience with ‘The Tube’. It’s certainly the way to get around but it’s also an eye-opener as to how other cities can make an ‘LRT’ function better. Admittedly any city has to start somewhere and move forward, but London (and other cities around the world as well) have taken the functionality to new levels. However, with choice comes hesitation. Check and re-check where you want to go to insure you get on the right line. They are color coded and there are helpful staff all over the place. We found one we needed and carried on to yet another first.
A ‘London Walk’ is both a company that hosts them as well as exactly what it implies. A walk around London. Basically you meet at a pre-determined starting point, depending on what you’re going to see, and walk from there. Tonight’s foray is to visit 3 well known London pubs. The intent is to take in many different flavors not just of the ales, but also the past lives of the surrounding areas. Each walk is headed by a local expert and Steve, tonight’s guide, is holding his own in that category.
The entire walk is replete with historical insight into the buildings and areas along our way and highlighted by a quick stop at a local pub for a ‘half’. Quite honestly, and keeping in mind I am far from a beer aficionado, throughout the night I have not had any that really impress me. And it’s not that any were bad. To use a very common expression, they just weren’t my cuppa tea. 🙂 The beer notwithstanding, I will still highly recommend the walk because of the excellent narration and knowledge of our guide.
Back to the hotel after an extremely long day. Tomorrow promises to be another as we need to get up at 5 AM!
And this is a holiday??? 🙂