Wednesday 15 Jun 2011 - Wednesday 15 Jun 2011
I am writing this at 5:30am local time. Apparently I was not able to completely adjust my internal clock and it is running a couple of hours fast. It thinks it got up at 7:00.
Yesterday, after interminable flights and layovers, I finally arrived. I took te Gatwick Express train to St. Pancreas station, then the Tube to Covent Garden where my hotel is only a short walk away. I checked in to my brief home-away-from-home the Hotel Strand Continental and dropped my bag in the room. Contrary to the name, this is more like a hostel than a hotel. I am Shari g a three bed dorm room with two other guys. One of my roommates was already there, sacked out on the non-bunk bed, leaving me to choose either the top or bottom of the bunk bed. I chose the lower one for convenience sake.
The room is a sixth floor walkup with shared shower and wc. It is also tiny. But cheap, and overall, the place seems nice enough. There is a lounge and a restaurant onsite which I have not yet tried.
Afterarriving, I went out to check things out and get dinner. I discovered I had not eaten a real meal since Boston, and that was only a salad, hours before the flight left. By now it was getting on towards six, so it truly was dinnertime. I walked up and down the Strand, marveling at the number of people and gawking at the architecure. Two and three hundred year old buildings with copper domes and sculpted decorations just seem to litter the area.
After living in Anchorage for these past years, I have been fooled into thinking that it is a city. Not necessarily a Big City, but at least a bustling metropolis. Nope. London bustles. There were more people on the street than I have seen in a long time, each with his own destination in mind, dinner, a pub, theater, home, work, wherever. Busy place.
After walking for a while, I decided to try a place called Smolenskis Grill. The pubs around here all seem to be real touristy and crowded so I gave this place a try. Not a bad choice, but not great. I had the bangers and mash, which ar sausages and mashed potatoes with onion gravy. They sprinkled parsley on top so you got a vegetable too. Very tasty.
After that, I returned to the hotel and sank into slumber.