Countries Visited: 1
Cities/Towns Visited: 1
Steps Taken Today: 19,974
Steps Taken Around the World:19,974
We stepped out of the airport into -1°C weather with light snow. Now considering we were in London in early spring this is not entirely to be unexpected, but considering the last time we had been outside was in Melbourne on a 33°C day, it was a little bit of a shock, to say the least. Mildly freezing, we bundled ourselves into a black cab for an uncomfortably expensive trip to our hotel in the West End. It was at this point I began mildly panicking as to whether we are going to run out of money before the end of the year. But that’s me though, I’m a worrier. Could we have taken the train? Yes. Would it have been exceptionally cheaper? You bet. Could we be bothered? Hell to the no. Would I make the same decision if faced with it again? Indubitably.
We left our bags in storage at the hotel (a subjectof contention, as we later discovered they had ended up bending the retractable handle of my partner’s suitcase, of which there will be no end of indignant ranting for the entirety of that poor suitcases life, every time is handle has to be ground back into place). Z Hotel Piccadilly: 0/5, would not recommend.
Moving on, to recap, it was 8am, we’d spent the last 35 hours subsisting on minimal sleep, and aeroplane / airport food, and there was only one thing in this world that would placate me…a full English breakfast. So naturally, as planners, having already researched the best place around where we were staying to obtain such a meal, we ventured out into the frost and snow (yes literal snow). When we arrived at ‘The Breakfast Club’ we were faced with an already shivering line of customers waiting outside for a table in the tiny warm haven of the Cafe. Now as some of you may be aware, I am stubborn as no one’s business, and come hell or high water I was getting my damn breakfast, as planned. So we waited. And waited. And waited. By the time we finally made it in, and the large mug of tea I ordered arrived, I was cold, like to my bones cold, there were several toes I was unsure as to whether they were still attached, and one of my fingers was, and this is no shadow of a lie, actually a strange shade of blue. So I clung to that poor unsuspecting tea like it were want to grow legs and escape should I loosen my grip. By the warming power of tea and cooked breakfast foods I thawed enough to venture back outside for the next stage of Operation ‘Day One’.
Now considering just before we left Melbourne we had made a point of going to see if from above, to appreciate it scale and beauty, we decided the best place to start here was at the London Eye. Indeed it was a grand idea, and as we rose in our tiny heated capsule, the sheer size of London struck me. In my mind, London had always been a tall city, reaching high into the sky, a vertical metropolis, but as I looked out to the snow covered landscape, I couldn’t help but notice just how short it was. Yes, you have your occasional tall building: the shard, the gherkin, St. Paul’s cathedral, the monument; but for the most part it’s filled with the stunted yet grandiose building of its past, split in two by a mighty river that by all means remembers when the city was nothing more than a Roman encampment. I would not say I was disappointed, but I was certainly surprised.
Back down to earth we came, smoothly like the tide, and back into the biting cold. With a quick clip to our step we scurried off to see Madam Tussaud’s, a cliche choice many would say, but a low key final stop for weary travellers; to view wax as we waned. The sculptures were spectacular, the pushy crowds of camera toting tourists were not, but we found the most joy in viewing those not entrenched in fans. I know people go to see celebrities and figures of importance, yet it was the history of the museum which fascinated me most. The life’s work of an exceptionally talented woman, created in a time when married women did not work, let alone leave their husbands, take their children, and follow their dreams. It fills my heart with joy to see the result of the strong, independent, and outgoing women of the world, both past and present. May I aspire to, and attain, such success in my life.
With the Australian exchange rate not favouring us here, the price of food seems steep, and at the point of metaphorically running off the smell of an oily rag, mechanically eating seemingly overpriced pizza and crashing at 7:30pm was the less than spectacular end to a rather spectacular day. I’d made it, as surreal as the completion of a long strived for goal is, I fell asleep in a warm London hotel room, as snow flurried past the windows and the sound of black cabs and double decker buses called to me.