BootsnAll Travel Network

Josh’s European Adventure: Day 2- London, England

I awoke from my very uncomfortable nap to some useless public address announcement and was not happy.  We landed at approximately 630AM and I raced to the immigration line.  Since none of the workers there wanted to actually work, it took a damn long time to go through immigration.  Since I had to go to the bathroom (number 1), I was getting frustrated and fast.  After I passed through immigration with no problem, I went to collect my luggage.  I was hoping it would make it after I had to place my covered backpack in a special pile at Newark for “oversized luggage.”  I had never had that problem once before, but for some reason the dude who checked me in insisted that my luggage was not overweight but had to be put personally taken to the plane as it could jam up the conveyor belt.  Well it didn’t and my backpack arrived safely.  So along with my FREE trolley (I think the USA is the only damn country that doesn’t provide luggage trolley’s for free; also note that I have ranted about this several times in previous blog entries).
I then made my way out of the airport and into the arrivals hall.  I immediately proceeded to find an ATM and find out where the underground (subway) left from.  I had to go 22 stops to get to where Harriet told me to take a cab from.  I eventually found it, but it was closed until 735AM since it was Boxing Day in the UK (maybe holiday for day after Christmas).  Well nothing was open and nothing was running.  I got on the first underground, got two seats on the tube, one for me, one for my stuff and was on my way.  The journey would take about 1 hour and after watching the end of one movie and the start of another, I was at the tube stop called Kings Cross.  This is an extremely famous train station in London (as are most in central London).  Even though Harriet lived in walking distance to Kings Cross, she recommended I take a taxi considering all the crap I would be schlepping with me.  Now either the taxi driver wanted a few extra pounds or just didn’t know where I was going, but the bloody taxi was 10 pounds!  Welcome to the UK Josh.  Also the train ride from the airport to Kings Cross was only 4 pounds, much more reasonable.
Eventually the taxi driver found Harriet’s lovely home and her mom (alice) opened the door up for me.  We said our hellos and I brought all my stuff up five flights of stairs to my room.  I am currently on the top floor of the brownstone/townhouse type home with my own double bed and full bathroom!  It is quite nice.  After Harriet’s mum and I chatted for quite awhile, Harriet’s sister Emma invited me to the shops around town.  I said I would go just to get my bearings and see some of Islington, which is the area of central London they live in.  The walk was nice, but it was cold out and I hadn’t brought my hat with me which was stupid.  Well even though mostly all the shops were closed because it was boxing day, Emma and I got to know one another.
When I returned back from the walk, I briefly chatted with everyone (except Harriet who was still volunteering at the shelter), I decided that I had to take a nap, I was absolutely knackered from the traveling.  I slept till about five when I staggered downstairs and finally saw Harriet!  I hadn’t seen her since I left Africa and it was nice to catch up.  We chatted till about 730PM when dinner was ready, which I might add was prepared beautifully by Harriet’s mom and two sisters; Emma and Martha.  I also met Harriet’s dad who was a cool guy.
Dinner was great, lots of great food, and traditional English dishes, from the traditional cheeses, to the chicken pie and leftover Christmas deserts (hmmm).  All in all it was a great day and at around 10PM I was ready for bed.


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