Wednesday, October 14, 2009

London Calling: Day Two

Gatwick airport resembles a rat maze. After leaving the plane I walked down at least five long hall ways to get to the immigration area. I ran the maze. Where was my cheese? Getting through customs was pretty easy. I had nothing to declare and nothing illegal in my one small bag so I booked it through the green line without even getting screened. They check you every time you get on or off or even NEAR the airport at all so London was safe from this crazy Alabama housewife.

Jen and Simon met me at the exit gate with an offer of coffee which I gladly accepted. I was feeling pretty good considering my four hours of sleep on the plane hadn't been nearly enough. They offered to take a day trip to Canterbury if I was up to it, so off we went. Being on the left side of the road is a bit unnerving at first, but it's nothing compared to a roundabout. Simon was a great driver and I was never worried about him crashing us, but to an American who is used to STOP SIGNS, having people rushing around a circle at the same time seems like madness!

I never saw the first wreck the entire trip, so what do I know? I see more in Decatur every week. I'm thinking they may have fewer wreck because of these street signs...

Seriously! LOL! Beware the old people... Don't feed them!

Canterbury was so unlike anything that I had ever seen. Culture shock wasn't the half of it. The very streets, lights and ditches (viaducts) were incredible. Here was a place with so much history that houses dating from the founding of the US were still considered young. Having traveled the US Eastern seaboard I wasn't ready to have it be so incredibly beyond anything here.

You can see in the walls of this ancient church the different layers of building and repair, much of which took place after WWII.

Canterbury Cathedral was charging $25US that day to tour, so we skipped it. The outside was beautiful enough and I was just beyond thrilled to see it at all.

Tea time at Tiny Tim's Tearoom. I had the special brew of the day, Apple Tea, with toast and eggs. I had to try a scone so Jen shared part of the huge sugary biscuit with me. YUM! I'm going to see if I can come up with a dairy free version.

The Roman Riding Gate built in 270AD.

This made me miss my boys so much and wish they were with me. Too cute!

As we finished touring the wall it began to drizzle and the wind picked up just enough to make the umbrellas want to turn inside out. We headed back to the more commercial area to shop for a bit while Simon got the car for us. On the way back to London we chatted and I started feeling really weird. Tired, but not really. Just kind of out of it. All of the sudden I couldn't keep my eyes open and after announcing "I think I'm falling asleep now. Sorry," I fell sound asleep until we arrived in Borehamwood at the McCabe's "flat". They encouraged me to sleep a bit longer and I crashed for another two hours waking up feeling MUCH better and ready for a nice quiet supper. We stayed in that night, catching up and getting to know each other. When it was bed time there, my body knew it was still afternoon at home, but I still fell asleep almost immediately slept soundly until the next morning.

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