Tubes!

So, the plane last night didn’t take off until almost two hours late. We made up some time in flight, though, and landed only about an hour late. I had managed to sleep through most of the trip – about five and a half hours. Because I was able to sleep, but not for as long as I wanted, I’m tired today, but not exhausted.

I took full advantage the British Air arrivals lounge1 for their showers and free breakfast. I also got a sim card and set up my phone on the 3 network, and bought an Oyster Card for using the Underground.

I’m really glad I took the tube to my hotel. It was long, and somewhat confusing, and tiring hauling my stuff around, but it really brought home the fact that I’m in a different city, in a different country, in a way that I think the faster trains or a cab wouldn’t have. It also showed me that, intimidating though the tube looks to a barbarian like me, it’s really not that difficult to navigate.

I made it to Liverpool Street, my first destination, because there’s a Lush shop there. I picked up my special soap and cream, and then found a pharmacy, where I bought some toiletries, ibuprofen, and travel sickness pills2. I also got my first chance to stick my head into the actual outside in London. I snapped a couple of pictures, but the photo software on this computer isn’t working right. I’m still going to post them, but once I get things straightened out, I’ll probably come back and update them.

**Edit** I got my picture editor working on my computer, so I have updated the pictures.

So, this is a look at the London skyline from within London. It's taken just outside of Liverpool Street, which is a train and underground station. Also, a mall. You can just see the tip of the Gherkin peeking over the older building in the foreground.
So, this is a look at the London skyline from within London. It’s taken just outside of Liverpool Street, which is a train and underground station. Also, a mall. You can just see the tip of the Gherkin peeking over the older building in the foreground.
This statue is out one of the Liverpool Street Station entries. It's called the Kindertransport Memorial, and shows children being shipped away from London during the second World War.
This statue is out one of the Liverpool Street Station entries. It’s called the Kindertransport Memorial, and shows children being shipped away from London during the second World War.

Then, it was back on the tube, out to Barking. From the Barking station, I walked to my hotel, navigating via Apple Maps on my phone3. I wound up in the parking lot of a huge Tesco superstore, and decided to give up but, after buying and drinking a very lovely bottle of Fanta4, I was refreshed and found where I had gone wrong reading the map.

So, I made it to my hotel around 5:00, and right at the desk they had a deal for pizza and coke, which I ordered and ate. Now, I’m going to rest up for tomorrow, watch a movie or something, and try to stay awake until 10:00 or so, so that I don’t wake up too early.

I made it!

  1. Okay. I knew Heathrow was very, very big, but they have a high-speed transit train to move people from the arrival gates to the actual Arrivals area¬†within the same terminal. That’s big. []
  2. I found in Ireland that some of the tours – especially the rural ones – made me a little nauseous. Not gonna give in to that. []
  3. This is why I get the new sim card first thing. []
  4. For North American readers: Fanta in Europe is awesome. No, really. For European readers: Fanta in North America is made of fail and sadness. No, really. []