Take 2 — London Calling
Getting acquainted with London
On my first day in London, a friend was kind enough to walk me down to the Tube and get me sorted with an Oyster Card (a pass to allow me to ride the Tube for the week). Being from the West Coast, I have no concept of public transit like this. He sent me on my way, and as he waved, his face said, "Good luck, because I think you're going to get lost." To be honest, I figured I'd get lost, too. Lucky for me, the first few Tube stops were not very crowded, so it didn't feel overwhelming and I made my way to my destination.
After meeting up with my athlete's family, we decided we needed to have a serious British food experience, so we headed over to the most authentic-looking pub for some fish and chips and beer. What arrived was one of the biggest pieces of cod that I've ever seen. I was recently enlightened to the world of salt and vinegar on fries, and I felt pretty cool when I added that to my meal without any suggestion to do so. One question I left with though: What's with the peas? Is that supposed to make me feel better about eating a giant piece of fried fish?
We wandered over to Hyde Park where they have a pretty cool setup. They have a grassy area where people can bring picnics, and when you go inside, they have tons of large screen TVs set up for fans to watch different events. It's a great way for people who don't have tickets to feel involved in the experience.
After walking through Hyde Park, I wanted to do some tourist things. First stop, logically, with all the amazing things in London, was Harrods. It is a thing of beauty for anyone who likes to shop — when I walked in, I got so excited, my eyes watered! The funniest thing was when my friend asked, "Where are the Longchamp bags?" and the woman responded, "Go through the pizzeria and past the ice cream parlour, and you'll see them." What kind of place is it where you can describe the location of the handbags as "past the pizzeria.” Fascinating!
Photos by Heather Deranek