Thursday, July 22, 2010

I have arrived in London!

I arrived yesterday in a slightly dazed state due to not sleeping all night except briefly for one hour on the plane. After finding my residence, I had to find my school's office and show them my passport. Then, after getting that out of the way I wondered around London for a while, whithout a true purpose except to find something to eat and just appreciate the sights around me. I told myself that I wasn't allowed to go to sleep until at least 8 pm, with walking being the only thing keeping me awake. by around 6:30 or so I had wandered over to St. Paul's Cathedral, which is a stunning, stately looking building that is enormous.
I didn't bring my camera with me for this jaunt around because I was just too tired, so I stole a picture of St. Paul's from this site:

Having slept well, and waking up at a riduclous hour (4:30 am), I am ready to plan out my day, and actually enjoy London as a well rested individual. My course doesn't start until Monday, so I have a few days of full-fledged sight seeing to do.
On the agenda for today: National Gallery or Tate Modern?

First impressions of London:
It is busy! So many people walking, with a purpose and somewhere to go.
There are a lot of busses.
The English use direct, but strange wording on their signs. For example in the tube stops the signs read, "WAY OUT" with arrows. I find this strange because why not use the word exit?
The tube's signage could use more icons (I think I am saying this because of my familiarity with Mexico City's metro system that links each stop with a sympbol, which I appreciate as a visual person).
I like the accents (something I knew before I arrived...)

Here is something I wrote while waiting in Iceland for my connecting flight:

I'm sitting in the Kevalik Airport in Iceland having spend the past 6 hours on a plane. It is 1 am for me, which means it is approaching my normal bedtime hours, however, a three hour plane ride awaits. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep a little along the way so that all of tomorrow(today) isn't a write off due to lack of sleep. So far, Iceland kind of looks like how used to imagine it before I really ever saw any pictures of Iceland- It looks a little the way the prairies look in spring when there's that transition time between brown and green. We flew down onto the runway which opens up off of the coastline. Unfortunately I wasn't in a window seat, so I couldn't really get the best view of flying in off of the ocean, but the land surrounding the tarmac is made up of varying degrees of low-lying green and brown bits of grassiness. I would say that it is good advice to not judge a country only on their airport. It is now raining, and I am disapointed in Iceland's airport because it is too early for any shops to be open, and I'm just really thirsty right now, and was hoping for maybe some tea or at least a bottle of water. Not even a vending machine in sight. The airport itself looks Scandinavian (or maybe Canadian...). Of course by Scandinavian I mean that it looks like the furniture may have been designed by Ikea. There are large floor to ceiling angled windows looking out onto the ariport runways, which I appreciate because I hate it when airports forget to include windows in their terminals. I can hear change being counted, and perhaps the sound of an espresso machine which tells me that something is open, so I may try to get something to drink before we board in 10 minutes.

As a note to that, after writing this I ended up chatting with two guys who had also come from Winnipeg and were waiting for the one-hour delayed London Flight. This made the airport waiting much less dull, and one named Garret who lives in the UK gave me some helpful guidance with the trains and underground tickets once we got off the plane in London.

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