Thursday, May 9, 2013

Going underground (within Zones 1- 6)

The iconic London Underground Roundel
I'm pretty sure The Jam's Going Underground isn't about riding the London subway. But I couldn't help humming it in my head when I was traveling... UNDERGROUND! After many years of dreaming about going, I finally made it to London.

Eric and I celebrated our wedding anniversary a little early this year, during Spring Break. It's a milestone year for us so we wanted to go big and to also make use of our passports before they expired. We used tons of credit card points, stayed in a posh and completely lovely boutique hotel a block away from the British Museum, and froze our butts off in what would be England's coldest March in 50 years. 
Days began with a really yummy breakfast buffet at the hotel. There were pastries, cereals, smoked fish, cheeses, toast, bagels, fruit, and the full English breakfast. And if that didn't float your boat, you could order from their a la carte menu. I skipped the beans and the smoked fish and cheeses, but ate pretty much everything else. We never ate lunch as we were too full from breakfast, but we did have tea once. Clotted cream is MAGIC.

After breakfast, we walked and walked and took transit and walked some more. We spent an entire day at the British Museum and still didn't see everything. There's just NO way. If I lived there, I'd be a member even though it's free. Thank you, Transit for London, for putting your Legible London maps everywhere we needed one, which was well, everywhere.

When we finished our walking and gawking, we made our way to dinner. Afterward, we returned to the hotel to rest, download photos from the cameras, recharge batteries, and watch some BBC. Eric always fell asleep before I did, Kindle in his hands, propped up in bed. I stayed up late planning the next day's excursions and mapping our transit and walking routes. Around midnight, the infomercials would start and in between, sometimes this video would come on TV. That was my cue to sleep. I tried not to plan too much and at times, I could have planned and timed things better, but overall, we had a great time letting London unfold before us. While we had plenty of opportunities to take a ton of photos, I knew I was restraining myself. I wanted to just *be* there, to be present, not just going around documenting things. But hehe, of course we ended up with over 1800 shots, some are here and here

Just when I started getting used to things- the weather, the accents, even the sidewalks- our travel card was expiring and our trip was ending. I hope we can return when the weather's warmer or when we have the appropriate clothing. I will definitely make another pilgrimage to Kew Gardens, and explore other neighborhoods, shops, and parks we either breezed through or didn't get to visit at all. And tea! More cream teas!