After spending the better part of an afternoon fully immersed in amazing works of written art, I feel as though I should produce something with a bit more weight than what is essentially “What I Did on My Vacation” .. but that’s what you get, so here we go.
The flight to London was long, but fine. The only real complaint we had was the delay prior to take off, landing us in Heathrow just after 3pm local time on Sunday. We found our flat easily enough, and settled ourselves in quickly before braving out into the elements to find a grocery store. We were only half successful – the nearest Tesco closed twenty minutes before we arrived, so we instead went to a Pizza Express for some really, really good pizza. Sated, we headed back to Home Base and the little corner store across the way to stock up on some breakfast items.
I very quickly fell asleep after an eventual hot shower (the water took 10+ minutes to warm up to something other than “ice ass cold”), but the level of pleasedness I felt with myself for getting more or less on schedule so soon was my downfall. I did sleep, but awoke promptly three hours later – my body thought I had taken a nap. I tried crazy hard to fall back asleep, but I tossed and turned (and ate Pringles) until 5am, and then slept until noon. Oops. Ed had done the same though, so we agreed that Monday would be Time Zone Catch Up Day: starting tomorrow, we shall be up at at them bright and early to explore all that the city has to offer.
Once we had rid ourselves of most of the travel grime, Ed and I set out for our first London Adventure. We decided to keep it simple as the day started out wet and gloomy, so we headed to the British Library (on purpose this time) to see the Writing Britain exhibit. It was incredible to see the origins of some of the best-known works from the UK – a drawing by Tolkien, first drafts of Alice in Wonderland written in pen, the original manuscript for the first Harry Potter book, and so much more (hence my chagrin at this post). We also explored the Treasures of the British Library as sort of a precursor to the British Museum. We could have stayed in the library until they kicked us out, but I hadn’t eaten yet and was feeling pretty faint so it was off to show Ed just why food in London is so depressing*. We stopped at Pret a Manger (which is as delicious as they are common) and had a fantastic meal that gave us more than enough energy to move on .. to an M&S, where we picked up meal items for the flat. From there, we wandered through the grounds of the University and generally headed in the direction of home to drop things off and rest our feet. That’s where we are now, but we’ll be going out again in a bit to explore the neighbourhood in the other direction.
The first couple days of our trip were exhausting, but we’ve acclimatized to the time change just in time for the forecast to brighten up for the week. The skies have already blued up considerably, and the sun isn’t far off now. Tomorrow we’ll break in our Oyster cards and head into town (and also get me a SIM card for my phone - we’ve had to rely on spotty free wifi, but we’ll have 3G access soon enough), and if the forecasted sun for tomorrow is for realz, it may be time to hop on a Big Bus and show Ed London from the street.
Man, I love it here.
*: Food in the UK is kind of amazing – fresh food is literally available on every corner, for crazy cheap prices. It’s frankly depressing, because everything at home is full of chemicals and fakery and corn syrup and here it all seems to be just good stuff. We spent 40 squiggly-Ls at the M&S, and have a fridge full of fruit, salad, chicken, juices, treats, wraps .. lots of stuff, and all with real ingredients. Why isn’t food at home like this? Boooo.