27 June 2014

London - First Impressions

When the plane was coming in over London, I didn't think the city looked that different in the air than any other city -- until we turned and I saw the Tower Bridge. Then it seemed so much more magical.

Getting here has been very anticlimactic so far -- lots of waiting. Queues are everywhere: customs, baggage claim, bus line... I guess what they say about the British loving to form lines is true. This has very much been a case of "hurry up and wait" as you rush to get to one place to find that you need to stand in a long line to continue on your journey. Once we were able to get on the bus, we rode out of the airport and into a traffic snarl because it is the morning rush hour in London. We were warned that it would take a while to get back to the dorm, but I was hoping that would be because of distance, not traffic.

On the way in we got to see some of regular old London (not the tourist parts), which I was surprised to see has a lot more green than cities in America. Even though there are so many people and buildings here, there are still big, green fields and playgrounds in the middle of the city. I'm sure this will taper off as we approach the city center, but it's nice to see pieces of the natural world peeking through the city streets.

On our ride to Stamford Street we were able to see several London landmarks -- the London Eye and Westminster Palace (Houses of Parliament) being two of the major ones. It was so great seeing how close we are to all of these amazing places... My list of things to do is long and having everything close by will assist me in completing it all!

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