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Sabbatical - London

London has always been for me one of those places I never really imagined visiting because it always seemed so out of reach.  It was a city of history books, novels, plays, fairy tales and movies. And to finally find myself in London was a truly amazing experience.  We were there for only two days and did much more going and seeing at a tourist rather than pilgrim pace.  In reflection, however, the places we went and things we saw, as common as they may be to many, were dreams come to reality for me.  And as is usually the case when dreams meet reality, there are adjustments and alterations.

The first adjustments for me were made concerning "The Tube".   I live in DC and use the METRO all the time, have visited New York City many times and have little problem navigating its convoluted subway system, but "The Tube" always sounded rather daunting to me.  Well, on the ground at Heathrow Peg and I soon found ourselves standing in front of a map of intersecting colored lines reading all the fare options and looking just like so many people I've seen staring blankly at a METRO fare machine in DC.  That's when an American man came up to us and said, "I have a couple of OYSTER cards (equivalent to our SMART cart) with a few pounds left on them and I'm headed back to the States and it's not worth cashing them in and converting to dollars.  You can have them for,"  I think he said,  "$15."  Regardless of the price, we quickly dug out some cash while he gave us a brief tutorial on using them (like we had never used a SMART card before).  Then we were off and running and "The Tube" was just another, albeit very good, transportation system.  The one hour ride into London during the morning commute, was for me a big step in bringing London down to earth.

I could go on and on about the things we saw and did, but will leave that to the following slide show and your own imagination.   For now my overwhelming impression of London is this:  it's a large international city with people from all over the world just going about their daily lives; yet, a place of history and history altering people and events;  a city of food, art, entertainment, museums and monuments; an international tourist destination (meaning thousands of people with their noses in maps and guide books); a place where the tourist and locals help each other out with directions and photo taking; a place where a day or two or even a week is never enough to see, do, and experience all there is to see and do and experience;...  Wait a minute, Dorothy Gale!  This is beginning to sound like my own back yard.   Hmmmm.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos that bespeak many fond memories to come!