My first day in Europe began with an early breakfast on the plane and an early 5am landing at Heathrow. I got off the plane and with no wait got my baggage and decided to head to the house I was spending the night, a local experience in Croydon. I purchased an oyster card and took the bus from the station headed to my homestay, all the while emersing myself in the city by keeping my eyes glued to the window. The first thing that struck me were the number of buses on the road and the way the traffic operates despite the cars packed on the road and single lanes for traffic on almost all streets.
After heading further away from the airport the scenes of small houses in rows began to crop up more and more, contributing to that look of London that I was beginning to really enjoy. The sun had risen before 6 and so it was quite hot by the time I got off the bus (I was wearing thermals) but I hauled my suitcase to the tram to take that down a few stops, to stay with some lovely friends of my parents.
By taking the tram back to the train station (and the bus stop) I was able to take the overground into the city. I then walked from Victoria London to Westminster and got slightly lost but enjoyed the warm weather and exploring. I met a friend from Melbourne, Nayana, at Westminster Abbey and together we took the train to the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The day was quite hot, so after walking through some amazing exhibitions in the V&A (Michelangelo’s David for example) we went and sat on the lawn near the fountain and watched children play in them. I feel asleep for 30 mins but the day’s slow pace was nice for my first day travelling.
We then headed to the science museum which was majorly focused on aerospace and astrophysics though there was a small section on psychology and genetics. Since both Nayana and I studied science we found the exhibition quite nice despite being incredibly jet-lagged.
Well, after the museum hopping, both of which were free (most museums in London are free, and really have amazing exhibitions!) we took the underground to Green Park and visited a good friend, Liz. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to see us (I used the term friend quite liberally) but we did see her lovely house and the lush green gardens surrounding.
I took the underground, overground and the tram back to the house which was easy by now and becoming comfortable in a new place. I got home and had a bite to eat before falling asleep on the couch.
The couple I stayed with, Vipul and Anusha, were so nice.They took me in, made me feel comfortable and we’re really quite lovely and generous. Anusha, is a Bharatanatyam dancer which is incredibly exciting for me and Vipul is a photographer who went to university with my parents.