Finally arrived in London. After more than 36 hours of travel, the Etihad flight landed ever so softly at Heathrow and my European adventure has begun.
Been in London a few hours now, most of it has been travel. The so-called express train from Heathrow to Paddington Station, wasn’t too express, owing to delays on the train tracks this morning. It was alright, nice just to soak in that dailiness of London life. Not too different really from Sydney, even the train announcers voice, the one who gives a run down of the stations the train is stopping at, sounded identical to the one in Sydney.
Arriving at Paddington station and walking up the stairs from the platform to main foyer, I immediately felt like a rural child in the big city for the first time. There were people crawling everywhere, making obscene amounts of noise as they travelled through. People in suits, others in thongs. People with travel bags, others with suitcases. Trains being announced at every moment. Support staff being swamped by people (including yours truly) unsure where to go or how to pay. The ceiling so high up, you feel invigorated and free as you walk through this enormous station. I couldn’t keep the smile off my face. This was the moment it hit me. I’M IN LONDON!
The train from Paddington to White Chapel, took approximately 15 minutes. There being several stops, all within short distance of each other, on the way. I got off the station and walked out onto Whitechapel road. The site was rather surprising. Rather than being in downtown London, it felt more like downtown Tripoli. Up and down the road, there were stands of food and clothing, of an Arab and Muslim variety. They were manned by what had to be Turkish or Central Asian Muslim people, because they were certainly not Arab. I would have understood what they were saying if that was the case.
Still waiting on Sarah to arrive. She’s caught in the busy London traffic, of which there is much to behold! A lot of the traffic I’ve observed so far has been as a result of construction and infrastructure improvement. There is so much work being done in London right now, it’s crazy.
Went for a walk and ended up at the Gherkin Building. You know, that famous oval shaped building in London. It is quite a site! And there hundreds of people stand around drinking beers in restaurants, in their expensive suits with expensive cars stuck in traffic behind them. Just fantastic!
Sarah’s here now. Off to explore some more!