London Travel Blog› entry 5 of 126 › view all entries
London was easy to get around in on public transport. Adam and Bella loaned me one of the Oyster Cards that they kept specially for out of town visitors. The pre-paid card enabled bypassing any ticket counter or ancient touch-screen ticket machine like the one I had learned to use at Heathrow. By simply touching it against any of the round yellow pads located at all of the tube stations, uninterrupted travel throughout the city was possible. The Southfield Station's attendant showed me how to recharge the card and I brought its balance to ten Pounds. I caught the District Line to Tower Hill; about a thirty-five minute ride with sixteen stops.
The London Tower looked more like a castle.
After exploring the north bank and part of the bridge, I got back on the tube to Piccadilly Circus; London's equivalent of Time's Square in New York City.
Doubling back to the south I found Green Park. It was always a pleasant surprise to discover wide open, grassy tree-lined parks in a city that seemed cramped and crowded. London was greener than I would have expected. I crossed the spacious park and found Buckingham Palace. Dozens of people loitered its front gates snapping pictures of the stately guards or hoping to catch sight of the Queen. I walked half its perimeter, disappointed that most of my pictures were still badly streaked. On the tube back to Southfields, I contemplated my options - buy a new camera or have an old battered one that I have at home shipped from Michigan.