London: The Underground

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It was like a scene from a movie. Doors open to a black morning sky, mist hanging low to the ground, the noisy engines create a wind that whips your hair behind you. You clutch your carry-on as you brace the cold, ascending the steps into the plane.

One nice thing about living in Europe is that all the other countries in Europe are very close by. It only took us an hour to fly from Frankfurt to London. Then a 45 minute train ride from the airport to Liverpool Station.

London is jam packed with things to do, and it’s easy to see many sites in a small amount of time. We were able to do SO much in just 3 short days.

Rather than kill myself jamming it into one post, just expect a new story every day for awhile.

I was surprised to find that the tube was my favorite part of London. It is a great place to people-watch (one of my many hobbies), as there are always plenty of interesting characters, changing with each stop.

I also have to add that it was really comforting to be able to read the signs again. English is so much easier to understand than German (at least for a born English-speaker).

The Underground was a place to find new perspective. The way some of the escalators are designed, looking up can make you feel like you’re sliding up the wall in zero-gravity.

Sometimes there were steps that would go on forever, spiraling down deep into the ground, until you feel like you’re in Inception, and you really regret not taking the lift.

There was one that had the lines of a poem across the wall so you could read the whole thing as you walk past.

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Every station had a street musician. And being there for a few days, I noticed that it was the same person every time. They establish their spot and go there every day to play music, and just hope people like it enough to toss them a few pounds.

Honestly, London seemed very commercial to me. If you weren’t all pomp and circumstance, then you were a hipster catching a smoke outside of Starbucks.

But down in the Underground, that’s where you find the artists. The musicians. The people who take the time to sit and read a book on their way to work. I think that’s why I loved it so much.

Anyway, the first day there, getting off at Westminister and heading out to the street, I heard a lound “TONG, TONG, TONG,” and reaching the open air I noticed the Eye to my left, then turning right, rising high was Big Ben, tolling the hour.

It felt a bit odd to really be there. I watch so much British TV that I practically felt as if I had already been there. I half expected to turn and see David Tennant running down the street, waving his sonic screwdriver in the air like a madman. I did actually see Sherlock and John, but we’ll get to that.

There was no dillydallying to be done. It was December 1st in London, and we had goals, for history was to be made that day. Check back tomorrow to hear about the Hobbit World Premiere.

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