Eurotrippin’ Day 2 Part 1
A View of the City Minus Bags Under My Eyes:
This morning as I rolled over in my bed and stared into the morning sun. I was simultaneously perplexed by the dial of my watch face. It was reporting 5:47am. My body was still completely unadjusted to the six-hour time change. Jetlagged and a tad bit frustrated that I was up at this hour, I tipped toed around the flat searching for all the curious things to do at this hour. I soon came to realize there were none. So, when in a foreign country and new city the logical thing to do is throw on a shirt and see what other creatures crawl the winding streets at dawn.
After reading yesterday’s paper, because the todays had not been shipped out yet, I ventured to parts of the city I would have never known existed. I passed numerous cafes as they flipped on the power switch. I saw odd collections of neon signs and said awkward hellos. I was also the recipient of stares that said “What the hell is this American up to?” I found a quaint little convenient store to grab a drink and make small talk. When I walked out of the small store lined with sports drinks and snacks I had never been witness to before to, I surprisingly ran into one of my classmates who was also up on the common hunt for a cup of Joe with a few shots of espresso accompanied by a friendly bagel. While having a chat the question of what time you woke up this morning migrated its way in, and after I gave my answer she replied with 7:30. I was curious because I hadn’t looked at a clock in quite some time, then when I did I realized I had been aimlessly wondering the London streets for nearly two and a half hours.
From there I strolled with my classmate back to the flat to meet up with all my newly awaken associates. Glassy eyed from the lack of sleep and cool breeze blowing in my face I went upstairs, switched up my wardrobe for something better suited for the ever changing climate that London seems to constantly provide, and threw in my head phones.
While everyone else was getting ready I listened to some new albums I downloaded state side and explored the time out London app Dean Foote had suggested we download before we left. Finding countless activities and experiences in this city I had a new found fire that was lit for the day’s excursions. At 9:00 am we gathered down stairs to meet our lovely tour guide Angela and herded our way on to the bus. Everybody told stories of their activities from the night prior, ranging from how fast they feel asleep to being called out as “American idiots” by two 15 year old British tramps on the bus they thought would lead them back home.
As she poured knowledge of this city’s incredible history directly into our cerebellums we were all winded with the extravagance of the information. Tidbits like 1/6th of the city are actually greens as in parks and foliage. Also, the city itself is made up of two cities. Yes, you read that correctly. London is not just London. In fact, the London that comes to mind when you think of London is mostly not even London. London itself is only ONE square mile; the rest of the city is called Westminster, which makes up for the other 635 some odd square miles of what is known as Greater London. Other oddities of brain food we acquired were that the Romans founded the original London in 43 A.D. and it is currently sitting 20 feet below where we walk today due to medieval and renaissances building habits.