17D & Big Ben

Day 1

This was not my first flight, I will admit as much; however, since my first flight was so long ago I can’t even remember it, this British Airways carriage ride to London was rather exciting. My ticket read ’17D’. After saying goodbye to whomever cared enough to see me off, I spent some time in the waiting room by gate 10(departure was at was 8:35 am local Bucharest time). To cut a long story short, I was soon on my way. Seated in the not so classy economy class 17D, along side what seemed like a couple of British(or American?) people I was on my way to London. Contrary to what some people have read about what goes on during BA flights(damn you, Alain …) I didn’t make any friends then and there. The man and woman next to me(much, much older than me) were to busy chatting among themselves to notice me.

Finally, 2 hours and 35 minutes and a nasty airline breakfast later I arrived at Heathrow. After chasing for my luggage for about half an hour, I was out of the airport and into the insecurity of not having anyone waiting for me…

Because of a “tube” problem, my friend was about 45 minutes late. I will admit to being a bit scared.There are mainly two ways of getting from Heathrow to London: the Heathrow Express and the tube, of course. During the tube ride I started to realize I was in London. I probably didn’t feel how I had expected to feel. I felt somewhat out of place. I started to wonder if I would ever have the stomach for living abroad.

A few hours later I was in front of Buckingham Palace staring at the gates and the Queen Victoria statue along with all the other enthusiastic tourists. At this moment I still wasn’t fully aware that I was in London!

After walking for a while through Green Park and finally getting to Westminster, the greatness of London was starting to grow like a seed inside of me, but it was finally complete when I saw Big Ben. It might sound cheesy but there’s something about this landmark that puts things into perspective. Furthermore, Westminster and the whole West End are the most tourist packed zones, for good reasons I might add.

So I walked around Westminster for a while staring at the Houses of Parliament(and the Big Ben!), obliviously missing Westminster Abbey(Somehow I ended up in Trafalgar Square at one point).


I also gazed upon the ‘British Airways London Eye’, you know, the big wheel that takes 30 minutes for a complete revolution and has all tourists flocking to it?


The weather was really nice and after spending some time on the Westminster Bridge I headed back to Buckingham and St. James’s Park ending up eventually in Hyde Park.


My day ended with some quiet time in Hyde Park(well, it’s not really all that quiet) looking at the squirrels, ducks and swans. Yes, London’s parks have quite an abundant wild life. And so does the river Thames(they claim that at the moment the Thames is the cleanest metropolitan river – clean enough for fish to live and spawn in it), but about that later on.

After watching the sunset from a bench in Hyde Park, I finally decided to head to my friend’s home. It had been a really long day… And so, after a tube ride to Westbourne Park on the Hammersmith & City line and a nice dinner(I had a very good cook), the long day finally came to an and.

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