Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 1 in London

I stepped off the train into London’s St Pancras station at about noon. Luck was on my side as I read the confirmation for my hostel booking, only to find out that I was already at the right station, and it was only a ten-minute walk.  I followed the directions given to me by the hostel only to get myself lost and then was forced to use my innate sense of direction to find my way sans map. Finally, up the street, just past the Travelodge like it said in the directions, I saw the big old courthouse right on the corner. My hostel was called The Clink and its in an old courthouse, a courthouse that I later learned was where Charles Dickens worked as a clerk in his early days and where the Clash made an appearance for breaking some law back in the 80s. Regardless, the building was neat, and the actual courtroom itself had been turned into a sort of Internet computer room.  When I phoned home the following day I sat on the witness bench to make my call on Skype.

My bunk was in a 14-bed dorm in the basement of The Clink, which was a bit dreary and painted a kind of awful Jungle green, making it seem a tad dungeon-esque. The area that my hostel was in didn’t have too much going on, apart from little restaurants and shops advertising English breakfasts for cheap and things like that. I was however about a 6 minute walk from the Tube or the Underground as they say here in London.

After I threw my stuff in the luggage room of the hostel and reorganized my bag I headed out into the rain.  It was that what I would now call ‘typically English rain” because its misty, damp and inescapable. Since I only had the afternoon and the evening I took the Tube to the Oxford Circus to do some research for my fashion blog (wink wink wink).  The shopping here is by far the best I have ever seen or experienced, if I can say that. I’m expecting a hand written letter from the Queen very soon, thanking me for single handedly holding up the English economy over the weekend.

After walking up and down Oxford Street battling crowds of eager shoppers I went back to the hostel to drop my bags and find out what to do next. That evening I took the Tube to Piccadilly Circus where I became so overwhelmed with all the signs for musicals and shows that I thought I might have actually died and gone to heaven. I wandered for a few hours taking it all in, until I realized that the Tube shuts at midnight. I hopped back on and road back to the hostel. I tiptoed into my dungeon bed and fell asleep.

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