I arrived in London remarkably jet lagged. It took at least an hour to get off the plane. The airport was flooded with people as the royal wedding had just taken place the day prior, and there were not enough arrival gates for ourplane to park. So we disembarked via stairs and hopped on a bus. From there, I waited at least another hour in line to spend about 60 seconds going through Border Control.
Needless to say, I was exhausted. However, it was morning and I was determined to make the most of my short amount of time in London, if nothing else to park myself in a coffee shop and hunt down some wifi. So I bought an all day tube pass, and set off towards Piccadilly.
I’ve got to admit, I’ve had Good Life by OneRepublic stuck in my head ever since, due to the lyrics,
“Woke up in London yesterday / found myself in the city / near Piccadilly / don’t really know how I got here / I got some pictures on my phone.”
Clearly they were singing about my life, right?
I stopped in a Costa Coffee that failed me on wifi, so went to this bookstore that had wifi and sat down in their cafe (without buying a coffee, I know I’m the worst. But I didn’t actually want coffee, and I had already wasted my money on a cafe that claimed to offer wifi but didn’t.)
I set my iced coffee down on the floor next to my feet so as to be inconspicuous. And super smooth me kicks my huge iced latte over and spills it EVERYWHERE. I quickly get up, toss my branded plastic to-go coffee container in the trash, and ask the barista for some towels to clean up the mess. I help him clean it up, and he insists on making me another coffee. I didn’t even buy a coffee from this cafe!! Wow I felt so bad, but he insisted and I couldn’t bring myself to admit that my latte hadn’t even come from their cafe. Oops! Anyways, the guy was incredibly nice and the bookstore absolutely beautiful.
The first week of my travels I was planning to travel with my friend Sam from Maryland/North Carolina, who I met on study abroad in Málaga last year. However, while I was meandering around London and charging up in a cafe, she messaged me in a panic saying her flight was delayed by TEN WHOLE HOURS. Yikes. I started to wonder if she’d even make it, our flight scheduled to Naples from London was bright and early next morning at 6 a.m.
She briefly considered a flight through a strange airline with a layover in Moscow, but continued to hassle United Airlines all night until she managed to find a flight into Rome, then to take a train to meet up with me in Naples. She actually ended up arriving to Naples before I did.
Shopping in Piccadilly, wandering Kings Cross
I finally got to the stop to buy tickets to the Stansted Airport, where my Airbnb host would pick me up for a small fee and take me back in the morning. The train ride was absolutely BEAUTIFUL through the English countryside, and it was refreshing to see the sun peek out as I left the bustling city of London. It was nearing the evening and I came to the realization that I had eaten absolutely nothing all day. Delta airlines fed me well on the flight across the pond, and I was normally accustomed to being asleep at that time. Furthermore, I had a coffee which filled me and I wanted to save money in London. (I know, I did drop 20 pounds on that swimsuit shop, shhh…)
Anyways, by that point I was quite hungry, and opted for fish and chips at a shop called “Stanleys” in the small town of Little Canfield near the Stansted airport. WOW that serving was huge. If you are ever there, find a friend to share your order of fish and chips!
It felt amazing to set my things down after a day of hauling my carry-on about London all day. (Boy am I thankful I managed to pack in only a carry-on. Perhaps I’ll make a post about that sometime.)
I slept so hard that night. Lovely Airbnb.