Some of you may have already seen some of these photos on Facebook, but many of you haven’t. So in the interest of re-living a trip of a lifetime, here’s the first of many posts with our trip, inspiration, visual feasting and whatnot! We left the house about noonish on Sunday, arrived at London Heathrow at 6:30 am (3:30 body clock) and kept going until just past supper time in London. Going on adrenaline!
Here’s an aerial view of Maine as we left midday:
First and foremost: thank you to Paul and Eli. Paul for minding the home front, Eli for actually WANTING to go on a trip with his old mom! Joshua and Ashley, you’re next. Edinburgh and points beyond, the Smiths are returning to the UK–probably not for a few years (gotta teach and earn enough money to save up and pay for another trip like this!), but we are coming back!
Compare the cabin and view above and below:
Rather a difference, eh? One of the things Eli most wanted to do was run at Olympic Park, in the stadium if possible. Alas, it was under major re-construction, but he got to take a refreshing trot. That’s him coming around the corner next to the pink sign post. The velodrome is in the background. The skies would look like this pretty much every day: blue with clouds, some of which would sprinkle on us momentarily but–with the exception of one day–no real soaking rains.
This ended up being the only real running Eli got to do. I don’t think he counted on Mom’s ability to go-go-go when on the road with things to do, people to meet and sights to see!
Then we took our Oyster cards, re-loadable fare cards for the London Underground (Tube / subway) and light rail system. WAY easier than the old day of buying paper tickets! After a bit of lunch, we headed off to King’s Cross.
The above is the old part of the station, but with the old funky platform signs swapped out for the modern ones that report what train is coming in at which platform and when. Easier for travel, but not as much character. The photo below is the VERY new part of the station. Beautiful, but…sigh…. I miss some of the old stuff.
I had read in my guide book that you could visit Platform 9 3/4 at the station, which is why we went. WHAT a disappointment! It was on a wall between two shops, not the actual platform. Of course, given the queue, I can see why they couldn’t put it between platforms 9 and 10, but…. it was the back half of a luggage cart with old suitcase.
If you wanted to stand in line–on this day about an hour–you could wear a Gryffindor scarf and take your picture there. Since Eli and I had been going for about 36 hours, that was SO not going to happen, but we snagged this photo instead.
Our next stop that day, just about as we hit the wall from tiredness and collapsed, was the British Museum. As we would discover about all of London in August, it was PACKED with tourists. But I’ll save that for the next post because the reason was one of my major reasons for taking this trip. And yes, it involves art and quilts!