First Time in London: I Don’t Know About You, but it was Good for Me

It was not the best of times, it was not the worst of times, but my first time in London was a good time. Truth is, the whole day was a mistake, but I still had a better time in London than Baghdad or Kabul and those are the places I was headed for.

I was traveling on orders for the U.S. Department of Defense. I knew when I saw my ticket that the official ticketing agent had made a mistake, but I was at the gate at Dulles International and I was not inclined to try to fix it that late in the game. The mistake was that the ticket cost almost half of what I had been advised it would and I was going through London, instead of flying directly to Kuwait from Atlanta.

Moreover, there was a 17-hour layover in London.

Seventeen hours in London presents oodles and oodles of opportunities.

Not the least of which is the difference between greasy Popeye’s chicken or over priced faux “Asian” food in Atlanta and “bangers and mash with mushy peas” and a “pint a bitters” at Heathrow.

It is a short and easy ride from Heathrow to Westminster on the Underground. Once you are downtown, you can see Big Ben, Westminster Bridge, a very large ferris wheel on the River Thames called the “London Eye”, and the Houses of Parliament.

I had a great breakfast at the Red Lion. The coffee was bad, but the egg tasted like egg. This may sound strange but I have not tasted egg like that since I stopped raising chickens. The meal also came with very tasty bacon and sliced ham and a savory sausage. It also had pork and beans, grilled Portobello mushroom and at least 2 “pints a bitters.”

Before the day ended, I visited Trafalgar Square, the Embassy of Texas a delightful park with full on autumn colors and enjoyed several different types of ale at the “Lord Moon of the Mall Pub.”

Toward the end of the day, I jumped on the underground back to Heathrow and a grand dinner of “haggis, tatties and neeps” and a pint of Guinness-maybe two pints.

Well, maybe three, I didn’t wake up until the plane landed in Kuwait.

London, a great place for a first time. See my photos here.

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