Wow I way underestimated the effect that jetlag would have on us. London is 6 hours later than Mitchell. It wouldn't seem like that would make that big of a difference, but that and our flight schedule worked in perfect symbiosis to make our first day here memorable. It'll give us something to laugh about later.
We left Sioux Falls on Sat. 1:30 PM and arrived in London Sun. morning at 7:00 AM. We did not sleep much on the redeye flight as I expected that we would. And I don't think Mark slept at all. There was a little girl a few rows ahead of us who cried for hours during the latest part.
We took the Tube (subway) from Heathrow to Victoria Station, then wandered for quite awhile until we found our hotel. They wouldn't let us check in until 2:00, so we went to a nearby mall to eat (and sleep, as I mentioned yesterday).
After we checked in, we went to sleep and woke up again about 10:00 PM. If you don't know, London at 10:00 PM on a Sunday night is totally dead. There may be some areas that have a rousing night life at that time but it is definitely not where we are.
We were starving so we asked the gal at the desk where we could go to get something to eat. She says to go down to the next traffic light and take a left. She says something like "something something Warwick something something 5 min. something". Apparently we weren't paying nearly good enough attention to her directions. We went outside and there is a traffic light but we thought that she meant the next one. So we walked about 5 min. to the next traffic light and took a left and walked and walked and walked looking for a place to eat. We finally decided that we weren't going to find anything. So should we just retrace our steps or go down this next street? You know where this story is going. We ended up getting lost on foot in London at 10:30 and there is no one around. Every street looks the same. They do not put street names up on posts like they do in America. The names are on signs attached to buildings.
These signs, if they are there, are difficult to see in the dark. The streets are not layed out in grids like they are in South Dakota. We are used to NSEW directions and these streets run off at every different angle. Another problem you have here is the street can change its name every few blocks. One thing I would do differently in the future is have a GPS along.
Eventually we were standing on this one corner and asked a passerby, can you tell us where Buckingham Palace Road or Victoria Station is. He pointed down the street from the corner we were on so we headed that way. Turned out we were on our street where the hotel is and we did not even know it.
We eventually made our way down to the first traffic light I mentioned earlier and what do you know it is Warwick Way. We headed down that street for about 10 min. looking for something that was open, finally found Cypress something, I can't remember the full name. They had middle eastern food. They are open all night but not the restaurant, carryout only. So we all ordered some lamb meat something or other. It looked like a burrito but that's not what they call it. We headed back to the hotel with our booty. We definitely knew how to get back to our hotel from there as it was just one turn. But we did get lost again. Turns out we walked one block past our corner. Thankfully we figured that one out pretty quick. We were tired and crabby and stressed out. All was well after eating. We went to bed again about midnight and now I'm up after eating breakfast here, and blogging. Don't know what we'll be doing yet today.
I'm very glad we did not go from the US to Kiev in one trip, with our SDA appt. the next day. If you're planning your trip, I would suggest allowing a little extra time so you won't be a zombie like us.
A Car Ride
5 weeks ago