The travel schedule for the last two days ended up as a nice guideline. Truly, the lack of adherence to the schedule was like the line from Pirates of the Caribbean, “they’re more like guidelines, really.” My flight from DC was delayed until almost 4 PM, because of air traffic jams in NYC airspace. But they put us on the plane at 3 PM because the airport was running short on gates for other planes to disembark. So, that meant we were on the tarmac in DC longer than our actual flight time!
I was afraid that I would miss my flight from JFK, but I made it in time for my now delayed flight to Heathrow! It makes sense that the next leg would also be delayed, especially after we learned that they were only operating with one runway at JFK, for all arrivals AND departures! What a nightmare, all the air traffic in one of the busiest airports in the nation and world being funneled through one runway… We sat on the ground for quite a while.
Anywho, the flight from JFK was LONG. I watched the movie Invictus, a very good film, and then slept, with the help of two Benadryl. That worked like a charm! I woke up in the morning when we were within a few minutes of London. We were flying in from the France side of things, instead of the Great Circle route, due to ash cloud problems over Scotland. I've heard talk of more airport closures across Europe in the next little while, depending on how the winds decide to blow.
Of course, my luggage was delayed. Story of my life, right? The TSA decided to check my bag at JFK and take just long enough for it to miss my flight. It got sent on the next flight, so I waited until a little after 9:30 to get it. However, Emily’s flight was also delayed, so it worked out just fine! Steve met me around 8, we wandered the airport and had breakfast while we waited. The tube ride to the flats was uneventful, but the tubes have reminded me of WWII movies. I LOVE how connected the city is with this transportation system! I’m currently looking at coming to the UK for grad school, and I’m liking the idea more and more.
For the days adventures, we decided to not go with a standard walking tour, but to explore the sights that Steve had discovered through the last week he was here. We got very familiar with using the tube system. I also got very familiar with how confusing the street layout of London is without a map! I will have one of those as I travel today!
My favorite thing that we visited yesterday was St. Martins-in-the-Field. The group that performed there last night was rehearsing when we walked in. The acoustics were incredible! And it was fun to sneak around where I could see the organ. What an organ! I wouldn’t mind getting to play that instrument in my lifetime. It will be fun to go to the concert there tonight!
Overall, I think one of my favorite parts of London, and I’m guessing most of England, is the longevity of buildings. A building outlives its original purpose. Instead of getting razed and building something new, they just do some remodeling and make it work. Like our flats, or all the stores. I LOVE the department stores that look totally modern on the inside, but have the look of a block of town-homes from the outside. To die for!
Besides being totally exhausted at the end of the day, my biggest sadness was that my camera died on the flight over. The battery is charged now, so good pictures can begin today. And I guess another sadness was this morning's rising...I woke up at 2:20 AM after going to bed at 10:30. I tried to fall asleep more than once after that, but was unable to...perhaps a nap will be in my future today. At least I was slightly productive with my time; I started my in-depth searching for graduate studies throughout the UK. I'm getting more and more excited!
And as a side note, our flats are in a wonderful part of the city! South Kensington is really nice. We are next door to one embassy, another is a few doors down and we pass other embassies in our neighborhood. Of course, the fact that we live across the street from Hyde Park and that Royal Albert Hall is just a short walk away, should have been a good indicator for me before I got here, but now I know that I love it!
So, the story of my life, yes the airport joys! But the story also seems to be good things and real joy happening after long trials. Not a bad story to have.
Well, I'll post the few pictures I've gotten before my camera died...
So close to DC...Ready to begin the adventure!
There were some gorgeous views from the airplane, of sky, land, and sea, and various combinations of the three.