Adventures in London: Learning London Underground

Other than being delayed for two hours at the gate in Newark and my feet absolutely killing me, I can officially say my trip to London and Paris is going well.

I decided to take a class studying setting in children’s literature that focused in London and Paris. After suffering single digit temperatures and spending three long days in the classroom, we finally headed for the airport.

My excitement by this point was bubbling over and I was so excited to get back to London and explore Paris. We hit a snag in Newark when we sat on the plane at the gate for two hours but eventually we left the states and touched down in London Heathrow Airport. Even though I was stuck on the plane, I did manage to watch a two hour movie before take off and let me tell you I highly recommend watching Megan Leavey.

At this point I had managed maybe two hours of broken sleep on the plane but the thoughts of exploring London were keeping me going. We landed around 8 am London time and within the hour I managed a new stamp in my passport and bonded with a UK border patrol officer over terrible photos.

Once I had my bag in hand we boarded a bus and headed to the hotel. The morning consisted of delicious hot chocolate and a walking tour around Kensington. The gardens were beautiful and I found out our hotel is only minutes away from Kensington Palace. Let’s hope I spot a royal sometime this week.

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AT this point it was decided we were acquainted with the area well enough to be set loose by ourselves. It was at this point when Clare, myself and a new friend Elizabeth decided to explore the London Underground.

Our first stop we decided would be Baker Street. Clare and Elizabeth wanted to explore where Sherlock is filmed. Our first go at riding the tube alone didn’t start so well. We boarded one train and a man, who we later found out was the driver of the train, asked where we were headed.

“Baker street station.”

“Good luck getting there before tomorrow. This train isn’t going there. You’ve got on the wrong train.”

At this point the doors had closed and we tried to convince ourselves that it didn’t matter we were on the wrong train. About two minutes later we saw the train we needed pull in and out of the station in a matter of what seemed like 30 seconds. It was around this time that we wanted off our current train but the doors had shut; we didn’t know what to do. We figured we would find a new way to get to Baker street but it was then that the doors opened and we grabbed our escape.

A new train pulled in and we boarded it, now finally on our way to our destination. We managed to get to Baker Street without any other hiccups and after making our way back to street level we were ready to explore. This was also the time we decided we needed something to eat. Clare and Elizabeth suggested a diner related to Sherlock and we walked for what seemed like forever to find it closed.

After taking some pictures of the location we worked our way back down Baker Street and eventually found a local pub to try. My lunch consisted of mini fish and chips which was absolutely delicious.

From here we went back to the underground and made our way towards Picadilly Circus. I think I can speak for all of us when I say we were so proud of ourselves getting to Picadilly because we made it successfully and rode the tube like pros.

Upon coming out of the underground, we were met with bright advertising screens and people milling about everywhere. The lights were still up from Christmas so it was a beautiful sight to witness. There wasn’t much open other than restaurants so we decided to walk around a bit to take in the area but we were quickly back underground making our way towards South Kensington for dinner.

We wanted to hit another pub and this one was closer to our hotel. At this point, we had been awake for such a long time so the jet lag was starting to set in. After a 15 minute walk from the underground station, we arrived at The Goat. I again ordered fish and chips, because I couldn’t get enough of the stuff. I was also able to order a cider because I’m in London and I’m old enough to do so. It was a delicious dinner and I can definitely see us spending a lot of time in pubs this week.

Despite dinner being so delicious I could not wait to get back to the hotel to unwind and lay down. If the rest of my time in London is anything like today, I’m definitely going to enjoy it.

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