I am back from my very first trip to London and it was amazing. I'll be posting up a full trip report shortly but it will have to be after my bizarre battle with jetlag subsides (i came back Wed night and I'm still all out of sorts!).
But, before I'm off to sleep for three days...a few quick bits of startling observation/revelation that I had not realized nor expected :)
~ London is a VAST and HUGE city. Although it is a "walkable" city, this should not be misunderstood in the meaning it can be walked from one end to the other. Not the case. Atleast not for me. I hadn't realized that if you are on the Millenium Bridge you can not see Big Ben from there. VAST (and gorgeous of course). I thought everything was "central". And it is, but central is a large center indeed!
~ Everyone is super polite. I mean SUPER polite. And yes, I'm coming from NYC, the land of "Look if you keep blockin' the daws, we can't leave the friggin' station" (yes a conductor actually said that on the A line). But still, I was not prepared for the level of civilized courtesy and politeness that the English possess. Amazing. Just amazing.
~ The only rude person I met the entire time i was there (6 days) was a woman on the tube who would not stop leaning on my fingers against the train pole. This woman was wearing white sneakers and was...you guessed it...American tourist. (sorry but it's true!)
~ I ate incredibly cheap. I mean CHEAP. Prets and EAT are the way to go if you need a lunch refuel in between seeing the sights.
~ Most everyone dresses beautifully - even just to go to the supermarket. I'm sorry, but next time I go, i will not wear sneakers...er, trainers. I'm sorry, I never felt so UNDERDRESSED. Coming from NYC I thought I'd be ok, but it did affect me, I wanted to look London cool too! (vain i know but... :( I ended up buying a gorgeous leather bomber jacket at TOPSHOP on Oxford and ballet flats and blended a bit better :)
~ I have never seen so many people! I mean loads and loads of men and women out on a Saturday night, spilling out onto the street from the pubs. It's always, ALWAYS crazy busy in Central London. I had no idea!
~ The history of the city is beyond comprehension. Beautiful.
~ The Jack the Ripper tour through London Walks - AWESOME!
~ Virgin Atlantic is a great airline for the "brit" experience before you even leave American soil.
Let's see what else? Oh so much...more to follow in the form of a trip report. Overall...an amazing trip. It was so much more than I expected and I expected alot. Astounding. And yes, when I saw Big Ben I cried. It was the realization that I had finally made it to London. It went quick my 6 days but feels like I time traveled to another time, another world...i'm in awe of London and it's history.
Keep an eye open for my Trip report to follow!!!!
thanks all for the help that was offered - especially knowing about the 7 day Travel Card - the Tube agent was tres impressed and said "hello gorgeous, you know your bits!". Fabulous way to start the trip :)