September 12th, 2008 – by: free08
Arrived in Heathrow after a very eventful flight... really hoping things would go smoothly from then on. Had a difficiulty finding a way out from the airport, signs were not clearly marked. Thus far wasnot impressed with one of the busiest airport in the world, but definitely excited and nervous since this was my solo trip to Europe, planned in hurry. It was going to be an adventure, I was basically going to wing the whole thing. Only certain things were I had an accomodation reserved for 2 nights in London and that I was to return home on Oct 9 from Frankfurt. As I was trying to figure out what train to take(bought an Oscar card), this very fine looking guy approached me for a direction. Me? lol... What a joke! Found out he is an Austrian on his way to give some presentation somewhere in London. He was as lost as I was, it was like blind leading another- ended up helping him, hehehe.. Imagine that! We ended up taking the same tube. Then another gentleman sat beside me (a German married to an English girl, I found out.) and was reading a feature article of the bombing incidence in Eurostar from London to Paris, a day before. Scary! Anyhow, it was a long ride to my hostel, as far as the scenery was concerned there wasn't much to see, were passing really rundown area.
My hostel was quite close from the St. Pancreas International/Kings Cross station, but couldn't check in, too early. So leaving my bakpack in the 5 Euros storage, hopped back on the tube, got to see the Parliament, Big Ben, the Westminister Abbey, Cabinet War Room, the Buckingham Palace-did not realize I passed it, I was in a daze, fighting the jetlag. Tourists were everywhere even though it was not really summer. So can't imagin what it be like to come here during high season. I ended up at the National Gallery, before joining a free tour-got some snack from the cafe to tie me over until the real meal. The tour was excellent, I would have enjoyed much more if it weren't for the jetlag. I was literally sleeping upright only to be awakened as I was falling down. When this happened a few times, decided to leave and go back to the hostel. But as I was about to exit the museum, came across a classy looking older middle- aged woman, can't recall how I got to strike a conversation, ended up spending like 2 hours on a little, wooden bench. What a nice English lady ,who had a fascinating story to share, her life story. How refreshing it was to encounter someone so nice after the flight, what amazed me was we had so much in common, even though there was some age difference. We exchanged our e-mails addresses and phone numbers. She was very kind, she asked me if I had a place to stay and she would offer her place if she had her own "flat" but she was temporary staying with a friend. Because I enjoyed her company so much and was feeling lonely and vulnerable in a new city, different country I almost asked her to have dinner with me, but then my Doubting Thomas came into the picture. Anyhow, instead of getting a ride back to hostel, I decided to go wherever my feet took me in the direction of the hostel... got to see some free shows in the street, ended up in C. Garden-which was really hard to find... I think I walked about 2 hours, some places I had to pass through was residential area and was scary because there was no one around and because it was turning dark... Was I glad or what when I arrived back, was bunking up in a 6 bed all female room. Some were already asleep.. Good night, sleep tight!