London (yep, London)

I made it! Here I am in the heart of London, about 3 blocks away from the King's Cross station WITH the car. The latter is the source of much of my problems right now, I would like to keep it and go to Oxford and Stonehenge but I have decided instead to return the car (nice that they let me return it to King's Cross) and get a tour of Oxford (walking tour). This answers a few of my concerns, travelling to Oxford on my own would be no where near as informative so I figure that I will for this instead. Later I hope to catch a show (stay tuned fellow “Steve” watchers for more thrills and excitement).

The trip was not so bad though getting into London was an experience. It seems that the road that I was supposed to have been able to follow almost directly to this boarding house (or whatever it is called) was closed to I had to make a (quick) re-route. It was rather interesting fighting the traffic at 9:00 at night, trying to read a map and trying to get back to the road that should have been open in the first place. Not a nice experience, took me a good 30 minutes to get here from the original detour, saw a lot of interesting things though, Piccadilly Circus was quite interesting…so was Hyde Park, at least, at night.

The car is sitting on the street right now and I can see the writing on the wall (or graffiti on the car, as the case may be) and I will dump the car tomorrow. Interesting thing is that breakfast starts at 7:15 here, the earliest I have even seen breakfast starting (I don't know if I would be able to focus my eyes at that time in the morning, heck, I'm not a glutton for punishment, I'm getting up at about that time, though I had better move the car before 8:30 or someone else may move/ticket it for me).

The road was quite good and I passed through many small towns. I don't know if I mentioned it but I am astounded by the differences between our two cultures. The lack of advertising to the degree I see in North America is quite surprising, you don't know how much difference the lack of a Coca-Cola sign on a shop makes. Many of the restaurants, stores, gas stations do little if ANYTHING to advertise on their exterior (or interior as well) the products they sell. It is quite nice and lends a more utilitarian look as a whole.

The roads are clean and well maintained. It surprises me to be clipping along a road with the trees trimmed around the road (like a tunnel). I was also impressed to see that hedges, or trees beside the road, are also trimmed (as in, rectangular trimmed, as you would see in someone's front yard). This is a LOT of work and not unusual to see wherever you go. No garbage can be seen beside the road (at least none by our standards). I have also noticed the lack of 7-11s. See, I told you it was cleaner and more civilized!

I feel kind of guilty that I will not be making it to Stonehenge (or however you spell it, give me a break it is 11:00 at night). Karin really wanted me to go but it is just not practical for this trip. I will make it next time.

I hope to get my trip to Paris postponed until Sunday instead of the Saturday it is currently booked for. Saturday there are a few shows on that I would REALLY like to see, so it would be good to be in Paris for Sunday.

I have also gathered that I can catch a “coach” (whatever that is, I understand it is a “bus” in our terms) to the airport (of course, the furthest airport out, did you have to ask?) right from here, booking in advance. That will be easier, I have about 50 pounds of books (so far, I make no illusions…).

Well, tomorrow should be very busy, but interesting as well (what isn't?).

⇒ Continue to London - Thursday, August 31, 1995