On my way to South Africa I had a 10-hour layover in London. I figured I should make the most of the time there and explore the city a little bit. After clearing immigration, customs, storing luggage and taking the train into the city and then returning to check-in, go back through security and walking miles through the passages of Heathrow Airport to get to my gate I only had about four hours in London.
To make the most of it I took the express train into the city, which was more expensive, but only took 15 minutes versus the hour it would have taken on the Underground.
I played tourist for a while and, of course, had to go see Big Ben. I’d love to go back and spend more time there instead of rushing through. I also made a last minute decision to take a ride on the London Eye, which is a giant Ferris wheel with glass capsules that you stand in during the ride to give you a 360-degree bird’s eye view of the city.
I also found a classic London pub on a random street between Big Ben and Paddington Station to have some fish and chips and a cider. I’ve decided that New Zealand does fish and chips much better than England…I’ve never heard many good things about English food anyway. And compared to microbrews in the US, English beer is also pretty bad. But what they do very well is cider. Not the overly sweet cider that we have in the States—the English cider is almost bitter with just a hint of apple. It is absolutely delicious. Another thing they do well is pouring beer and cider. The amount of care that was put into pouring the perfect glass was very impressive. That may be one of the reasons why the cider tasted so good? And they only way to watch them pour was to keep ordering them until I ran out of the few British Pounds that I got from the ATM.
As long as the internet works over the next few days here in Kruger National Park, South Africa I’ll post about my first few days in Africa.