Surprised By London

When we first starting planning our trip, I thought London would be the place I liked the least.

I was wrong.

I loved London.

I wish we had stayed another day there.

Yes, the thing that appeals to people like me is that we can at least speak the language. Well, sort of. There are some differences in the American version of English and the REAL version of it spoken in London. The first experience I had with this difference was when standing in line to purchase something and being asked if I wanted a “carrier”. In my world back home it’s known as a “bag”. When someone asks if you got that shirt from the “rail” and took it to the “till” you find things a little different.

London was quite amazing. There is so much to do there and we didn’t nearly plan enough time to do it all. We only hit the highest of the highlights for us. The main thing for us was Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle is the Queen’s home and also the place where Prince Harry and Meaghan Markle were married in a royal wedding in May. To be able to stand in the chapel in the same spot where they all were standing on that day was amazing. We loved it. We didn’t want to leave. I don’t think the Queen was home that day but it was still a special feeling to be there in person.

Our room was in the theatre district of London where many Broadway shows were playing. If we had stayed longer, we would have attended but when you are traveling to a city like this, you want to do things you don’t normally do back home. We would have loved to do it but so many other things were on our itinerary.

The Tube.

This is London’s subway system. It is intimidating at first but we managed to get the hang of it after traveling to Windsor Castle where we had to take three trains to get there and back. I have a decent sense of direction but this was a challenge until I got the grasp of it. It was a good way to get around the city. It’s a shame our own city – Nashville – has no clue about transportation like this.

The people we encountered were nice and accommodating. We loved to hear the children talk with their English accent. I’m sure my English accent had quite a Southern twang to it. There were a couple of times I confused people with it.

The other thing that took some practice was the feat of traveling on the left instead of the right. We say that they drive on the wrong side of the road here but I wasn’t going to tell them that. We learned which direction to look when crossing the street and if we didn’t remember, it was painted on the street below us. I guess they know the tourists would forget.

I did manage to eat some traditional English food when we ate at an English Pub where I had the Fish ‘n Chips. Now this isn’t the same as you would get at Captain D’s in the U.S. The English version was two pieces of Cod with fries and English Peas. I’m not so sure how the peas figured into this combination but that’s how it comes. It was a really good meal. If that scares you, you can still get your Starbucks, McDonald’s or even a Pizza Hut. Yes and the Pizza Hut had a bar too.

London was quite a surprise and one that I am glad we didn’t miss on this trip.

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