The European Odyssey Day 1: We made it!

Posted by on July 3rd, 2008

     Around 7:00am we cleared customs.  Caleb arrived a few hours later and by 10:00 we were on the tubes headed for our hostel.  There are so many things to talk about I don’t know where to start besides the start.  Long distance air travel may be the single most unpleasant experience know to mankind. Perhaps all of mankind is too broad a statement (I must pause this blog to inform you that a cowboy just rollerbladed past the window of the bar I’m sitting in) back to mankind being a broad statement. It may be that it is the single most miserable experience for mankind over six feet and 200lbs.  The only redeeming thing was the food. Yes, it was so bad that airline food was the redeeming factor.  They gave us enough food to hold us over until dinner tonight. Ben and Caleb both got Hindu meals and Luke got a kosher meal, how this happened I’ll leave up to your imagination.  I may have also packed too heavy.  The bag is already stating to feel like a burden.  I may have to revaluate my packing plan. The first really great part of trip was riding the Tube.  We found out that for seven pounds (14 dollars) you can ride all day. We made it with in a few block of the hostel but finding it took around an hour. Finally in a last ditch effort we looked at a map and found the hostel in around five minutes. Everyone is very tired; I have slept less than 6 hours in the last to days.  We will probably grab some dinner tonight and hit then hay early. The hostel is nice; we are staying for around 16 dollars a night. It has a nice pub on the bottom floor that provides a room to write from. London itself is almost depressing not because it’s not fun but the city seems like it is crumbling. To be fair I have only seen the airport some of the suburbs and the area around Hyde Park but it still feels like the city is in a state of plugging holes in a breaking dyke.  Houses and industrial area smoke stacks tilt to the side. The famous gardens of the English country side seem to overwhelm the houses in London rather then add to them, almost as if nature was reclaiming the land. I guess London feels like a once great city rather then a modern center of civilization with.  That could be the layers of history or it could be the fact that everything is built from brick and seems unchanging like it will be there forever and never improve. However I feel the depressing vibe I’m getting from London is a combination of Sweltering Humidity, Sleep Deprivation, and only seeing the Airport, train, and the semi-sketchy neighborhood our hostel is in. Luke thinks we got the cold shoulder from the locals on the Tube but I think people were just upset because our bags were so large. The only person I heard say anything negative about us was another American who we may have hit in the face, accidentally, with a backpack.  Don’t let the first part of this blog make you think that I’m not having a good time.  London is really awesome and being with the guys is great. The first moment I really felt like this was going to work was when the plane tipped its wing and I saw Big Ben. I think getting over jet lag and having a good meal will put everything right.

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