Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Right, Left, Right

Much to my surprise the long flight over the Atlantic turned out to be almost enjoyable. Who knew all it would take to turn me into a calm and contented flyer was a seat plug for my iPad? Plus I was sitting next to a lovely English couple returning from their Canadian holiday. There was one odd moment towards the end of the flight when we were served breakfast and the English couple ordered coffee while I ordered tea. If this continues the next thing I know they are going start playing ice hockey over here, while back home in Canada we will be setting up the wickets for a game of cricket.

The other surprise on the flight was the flight attendants. Dour is the word that comes to mind. Well, there might have been a few other words, but dour is the first printable word that pops into my head. I see from a glance at today's CBC news that they have come to a tentative settlement so probably won't be going out on strike this week after all. So hopefully they will be a cheerier lot on the way home.

On to London! Oh my gosh. The streets here make no sense. None whatsoever. Which resulted in us being lost the minute we left then Tube station and tried to find our accommodation. We were exhausted, so decided this was our opportunity to take one of the famed London taxis. I am so glad we did! Did you know taxi drivers train for years before they can get licensed? They go around on scooters holding maps and memorizing all the streets. It really is that complicated. And there are taxis everywhere.

Then we struck gold. We asked our taxi driver where a good place to eat would be. He asked us if we had ever heard of Jamie Oliver. Be still my beating heart! It turns out Jamie Oliver had recently opened up a new Italian restaurant within walking distance of where we are staying. Honestly, I was almost afraid to go. What if it didn't live up to my expectation? Would I go home to my collection of Jamie Oliver cookbooks to find they had lost their glow? I needn't have worried. What happened next was simply The Best Meal I have ever eaten in a restaurant. Kath and I have agreed we are going back again before we head north to Scotland.

Today we took the Hop On, Hop Off bus tour to get our bearings. We also decided to be brave and ride the London Eye. The view as we circled around was spectacular!

We walked and walked and walked today, taking in the sights and sounds of the city. Crossing the streets must be scary even for native Londoners, but for those of us from countries that drive on the other side of the road it is even more treacherous. We are constantly reminding each other to look right, left, right. It is good we were able to fortify ourselves this morning with a hearty breakfast!


  1. Jealous. So freakin jealous. I love Jamie. And I love London. Sigh. Have fun!!!

  2. Ah, the wonderful geography of London ;D To me the gridded streets of American and Canadian cities seem weird! The stuff the taxi drivers have to learn is called The Knowledge ... it's just amazing what they have memorised!
    You'll find a lot of Brits drinking coffee at breakfast, tea really comes to the fore in the afternoon.
    Have fun :D

  3. Glad to see you found Kath alright.

    So jealous about the Jamie Oliver restaurant...please expand on your experience. Did you get pictures? What did you order?!!!!

  4. I just may have to make Jamie's stew tomorrow :)

  5. You are much braver than me - I have never been on the London Eye (scared of heights ;-) ).

    The roads are completely incomprehensible, it is true. Whereabouts are you staying?

  6. I've heard streets in the older sections of Boston make no sense either. I guess it's natural to bring a bit of home with you when you move to a new country.

    Jamie Oliver, you're off to a great start on this trip.

    I had no idea the compartments on the Eye were so large. My wife might actually be willing to try it--generally, she doesn't like anything thta gives you a good view of the surrounding area.