Archive for April, 2009

London ’09 – Stairs, Stairs and more Stairs

by on Apr.18, 2009, under London

To start off I need to say that London, United Kingdom was a great city to visit, but like a lot of European Cities, “It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there (with small children)”. We spent a great week visiting the city and all its tourist trappings. We stayed about 20 minutes from the center of London via the “Tube”… Our first problem… Although we are in a English speaking country, it’s the Queen’s English. Which means them damn Brit’s have a different word for everything, like “Tube” which we call a Subway (the transportation vehicle not the restaurant). Other words we found a little different were lorry (truck), busking (to play music in a public place), jacket potato (baked potato), or loo (bathroom). On the bright side it was still English and most times it wasn’t to hard to figure out, except “busking” which we asked our British friend.

Our next problem became quickly evident… The “Tube” itself. Now how could a pretty convenient underground transportation system be a problem you ask? I’ll tell you. Since it is the first subway in the world, opened in 1863, it is not really stroller accessible. Which meant that Annette and I would lug the stroller up and down and up and down and sometimes even up and down again the stairs to get from street to the platform. Now in the beginning this was not to bad, but after around a million and a half stairs, it got a little old. I know what you’re saying….take Caitlyn out of the stroller… Not really an option with her, once she’s out, she doesn’t want to get back in. So we lived with it. The other “Tube” problem was the temperature in the trains. I think we were riding in the original cars from 1863. No air conditioning so it was a little hot in there. I’ve taken subways all over the world, Brussels, Rome, London, Paris, New York, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and by far London was the worst (close only to Paris). But we were only a 8 minute walk from the Tube Station and it took us where we wanted to go reliably.

The only other problems is the weather. It rained pretty much every day. But not all day. The positive part of the weather is that we were used to it, since it ALWAYS rains in Belgium. But those were only a few small issues and that was the worst it got.

Now on to the amazing things we saw in London. We checked out the Tower Bridge (which most think is the London Bridge), Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Windsor Castle, London Tower (where the Crown Jewels are kept), Aquarium, Zoo, Transportation Museum (which was awesome), St. Paul’s Cathedral, Oxford Street (shopping), Piccadilly Circus (shopping), and Caitlyn’s favorite Big Ben. We spent an extended time shopping to get the things that make life simpler that are unavailable in Belgium or are cheaper in London.

It was a great, great, great trip. We enjoyed all that we could within the time that we were there. Please check out the gallery to see all the picutres that we shot. And you can also check out the panoramas that I took in London here.

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