April 2nd and 3rd ◦
Last year when I did the Camino, I had a stop in London so this year I decided to go ahead and stay a couple of days to visit and to overcome my jet lag. Two days were not enough. Though The weather was very similar to home (in my mind, more grey, more wet and colder) – I didn’t have the same enthusiasm for the refreshing aspects and it literally dampened my spirits. Perhaps it had to do with the number of hours I had been up (I left at 2:00 Seattle time and arrived at 7:00 am, UK time, which was 7 hours ahead) or the fact that I couldn’t check into my room. Or maybe because it was raining and I didn’t have a plan. At any rate, if you would’ve asked me in the first eight hours in London if I liked it, I wouldn’t told you unequivocally, “NO!!”
I spent four hours riding the “hop on/hop off” bus, which almost lulled me to sleep at times because of all of the traffic, but it was actually an excellent way to see downtown and to determine what I would do my second day.
There is much history embodied in this well known city – from kings, queens, castles and parliament to wars and fires and the subsequent rebuilding. There are countless statues commemorating London’s evolution and a great number of beautiful parks, cathedrals, museums and bridges. There are trendy new buildings along side the venerable and honestly between all the construction and the massive number of tourists it was challenging to take it all in. I was excited to find in my pre trip planning that several of the museums are free to the public, but the lines were way too long for me! Maybe next time…
I dropped my phone one too many times and ended up getting a new one two days before setting out – which proved to be a colossal pain!! But it gave me reason to seek out the Apple store which was nestled in amongst all the fashionable stores and it even stopped raining so I could enjoy strolling across a couple of the bridges, through Hyde Park, by Buckingham Palace and St James Park and Piccadilly Circus.
And I had a very delicious Welsh Rarebit (cheese on toast with one slice of a very sweet tomato!) at the very posh Fortnum & Mason. Need $1000 picnic basket? They have them!! All in all, I wish I would’ve had more time, but London was a great way to blast through my jet lag!