Tuesday, September 05, 2006

First Weekend in London

Thankfully, I arrived in London the weekend prior to a bank holiday and as a result got a 3 day weekend. After recovering to some degree from jet lag, I got out and about the town to get my bearings. To give you an idea where Paddington is within London, I'm in the Northwest part of central London. London is truly an international city. As you walk down the street you'll hear languages and see people from every ethnicity. Of course there is the ever-present British accent which is what many people think of when they hear the "proper" English of Londoners.

On Sunday, I went to church at a place called All Souls http://www.allsouls.org/. It is kind of a mix of traditional and contemporary style worship. I then checked out some of the sites of London. Sunday was also my first experience on the tube. Being a bank holiday weekend, it was especially busy, but I had no idea it would be that packed. Tons of people were on the train on a Sunday morning at 10:30 am. Back in the states most people are just barely rolling out of bed at that time. Being such a big tourist destination plays a big factor in this. The Tube system is quite well laid out and you can truly get anywhere within the city via train. There is the occasional station closed due to maintenance so one must be cognizant of these closures. Once you figure out which train line to take where, it is pretty convenient.

My first tourist stop was Leicester Square which is a nice sized park with some statues in the middle. Quite close to this are several of the theatres of the West End (London equivalent of Broadway). Loads of people milling around. If you ever come to London, I recommend keeping a wallet in your front pocket with a hand on it. Pick pockets are known to frequent highly populated areas.

It was then on to Trafalgar Square where St. Martin-in-the-Field church is located as well as a couple fountains, and the National Portrait gallery. St. Martin-in-the-Field is a well known concert venue as well as a church where they host around 300 concerts per year. You may have heard some classical music recorded there.

On Monday, I went to Notting Hill for the annual festival. It seemed much like Mardi-Gras but I wasn't all that impressed.

Though the tube system is quite good, it would behoove one to be in good condition due to the large quantity of walking performed within London. I consider myself to be in decent athletic shape but my legs were quite sore after so much walking.

My office is located a short 4-5 minute walk so that makes for a nice commute. :-)

See the following link for some good pictures in Trafalgar Square. http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/aallen30605/album?.dir=1f75re2&.src=ph&store=&prodid=&.done=http%3a//pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/aallen30605/my_photos

1 comment:

liz said...

I remember that Square from my 2-day London adventure a couple years back. Beautiful!

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