After the 10.5 hour flight of movies and occasional sleep while packed in on a Boeing 787, I arrived at London Gatwick, and quickly made my way to border control.
Maybe it was a fluke, maybe he just hadn’t bittered yet since his shift just started, but whatever the cause, my border control agent was hands down the friendliest, most polite government or airport employee I’ve dealt with, ever… From any country. Not a bad way to start a trip at all!
With fair ease I was able to connect with my mother, who’d landed a few hours before my flight. We grabbed 2 express train tickets to Victoria Station (19.90£ each) and took the 30 minute ride with views that fit perfectly into my preconception of English neighborhoods: lots of duplexes and green hillsides with a football pitch every so often, all sitting under a dreary sky of broken clouds.
All the lifeless shrubs along the way gave the impression that the winter on the other side of the glass was much colder than reality, for a mid-February afternoon.
As we entered Victoria station the clouds broke up a bit more, letting way to surprisingly blue skies. By sheer luck alone, our hotel was a quick and easy 5 minute walk from the station. The three-story climb up a steep staircase was much more arduous, however.
We made it up to the top level, and into our itty bitty room, then drew the curtains for some recovery rest. About six and a half hours later, I’m awoken by my neighbors cheering to a football match, and feeling rather well rested, though a bit of a cold is certainly looming. My mother has unfortunately developed a full blown cough and congestion duo that’s kept her horizontal for about eight straight hours.
The cool air coming through the cracked window brings sounds of the nearby street along with the smell of burgers and beer.
It may be a wash for tonight, already being 9:30. So, I’ll try to readjust my sleep schedule, while I anticipate my mom sleeping right through due to the occasional coughing fits awakening her.
I look forward to what tomorrow has in store for us!