I had a 9am train out of Edinburgh down to London. I was unnecessarily slightly anxious about it. I had never traveled by train before and was unsure of the protocol. Check that, I have been on train before, but nothing like this. I remember in Germany riding the trains to nearby cities, but those were always short journeys, guided by locals, and over 12years ago so I don't really remember much. I ended up leaving my apartment at 7:30am for the 15-minute walk. Would it be busy? Is there some kind of security ala an airport for "international" journeys? Hell, was this even an international journey?
[Note: I'm confused by the whole UK = England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland thing.]
[Note 2: And what's up with Great Britain being all the previous but Northern Ireland? I understand it's a separate island, it just seems unnecessary.]
[Note 3: Does anyone else just consider Ireland to be Ireland? In other words, it doesn't occur to me to consider Northern Ireland as separate from the Republic of Ireland. Though I do recognize that there are many who would not be pleased with me saying that...]
So where was I? Right, the train. Anyway, I was there way too early and ended up just sitting on a bench for a while. The lesson I learned: Riding a train is easy! Famous last words. [Ooh, foreshadowing.] I sat a table for the 4hour journey. For the 2nd half, I was sitting with 3other women, 2 of whom were in their early 20s. Did you know there is such a thing as the Geordie Shore? It's the British version of Jersey Shore. One isn't bad enough, MTV?
But soon enough, we were in London!
|credit: F. Khamvongsa|
Upon arrival I fairly easily found my way to the Underground due to some help from one of my fellow-travelers' friends. I already knew the route, but was not expecting it to be so crowded at noon on a Saturday. I later learned that this is because multiple stations/lines are closed on the weekends for maintenance. Therefore, I was the jerk with the big bag forcing myself onto cars. Sorry peoples.
The walk to the hotel was easy, though it initially felt like For. Ev. Er. Turns out it's only about 6minutes. Score. The room was nice, though small. Welcome to the city.
I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon checking out Hyde Park, about a 20minute walk away. I saw the ruins of Kensington Palace as it's being renovated, and even toyed with the idea of stopping at The Orangery for a proper English tea (it was about that time). The long line out the door convinced me that eating the cookies in my bag while laying in the grass and reading would be a much better use of my time. And that's exactly what I did. It was a gorgeous day (I even got a slight sunburn... in London!), so tons of people were out enjoying the park. I couldn't expect a better afternoon.
All (3) June 4 photos:
Up next: Castles and Palaces, oh my!