Memories of London

So, I confess: I’m an Olympics junky. Moreso with the winter games, (especially considering I don’t have TV, so I can only watch this time around when I’m elsewhere or when a neighbour’s wifi is working), but still. This time around I’m getting a fair amount of nostalgia, as I’m able, for once, to say: been there, done that. Yes, that’s right, folks:  once upon a time I wandered off and ended up in England.

It was my first big trip, and it was my first solo voyage. Graduating from a university where nearly everyone seemed to have travelled Europe, a much younger and more clueless version of myself deemed it appropriate to borrow several thousand dollars in case, take 3 weeks off work, get a rushed 24 hour passport, and book a plane ticket.

Sometimes, in hindsight, I look back at this trip, particularly the first few days in England and France, and wonder just how I managed so easily, based on my lack of planning or research.

So, some images and memories/lessons from my first days overseas:

Lesson: Ben and Jerry’s is universal.
Memory: After 48 hours awake thanks to flight delays, I looked up on a train and saw THIS (Tower Bridge) and then it was all real.
Buckingham Palace on a hot, sunny summer day in 2006

I was quite possibly the only person who had never heard the phrase “Mind the Gap” before arriving in London.
Montreal just doesn’t have scenes like this
Picadilly Circus
People actually play cricket! Moment of amazement: park map with areas identified for cricket and rugby!
There is more to England than Buckingham Palace, Parliament, and the Eye.
Lesson: London City Hall looks like a futuristic egg.
Lesson: I won’t get arrested or fined for drinking in public!
So, I made the mistake of looking at Quebec on a world map at the Greenwich Observatory and had an oh my god freakout moment. Located Starbucks, resumed normalcy.

Cutty Sark. Burned down a bit after I was there.
View from my bedroom window in Greenwich
Cliche Parliament photo
Churchill! Contrary to Olympic Games opening, no, he does not move.
More cliche I Was There shots.
Naysayers: it’s real! There is a way to Hogwarts, and it IS through King’s Cross Station. And yes, I did a 3 hour detour to go visit this.
Kids’ toys in England can be worth more than my actual car. Oh, Harrod’s.
Soft serve ice cream is better over here. And is known as a “flake”. Apparently popsicles are “ice lollies”.
Me at Picadilly Circus. I thankfully, 6 years + later, no longer look or dress like this.

I need some international travel. And I need it soon.

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