I've Seen London...I've Seen France...
But they've all seen my underpants.
Can I just tell you that Europe is awesome? First of all, (because I know this is what you are all really wondering), I did pass my Sea Survival Training and am now certified to work under both UK and Norway Regulations in the North Sea. Now for those of you willing to stick it out a little longer, I will tell you about the rest of the story. I am going to break this down into about three posts.
Post Number 1: London!
The first leg of my journey involved an overnight stay in a little town I like to call, London. It's in England. We had 12 hours from the minute that we landed at 8:15 PM Saturday night until 8:15 AM Sunday morning when we continued on to Scotland. Minus the time it took us to get to the hotel, get signed in, and then get back to the airport the next morning, we had about 5 hours. We scheduled 1 hour for sleep from 4:30 to 5:30 AM, giving us 4 hours to explore and enjoy this hub of international crossroads.
Our first stop was the nearest underground station. We met a cheeky woman who was more than excited to share with us how to get into the "bowels of London". We followed her advice, got lost and then figured our way out of it.
Our first goal was Big Ben. We were discussing how we would know where to go once we got outside, but that problem was solved the moment we were walking up the steps from underground and looked up. This is the sight we saw:
Well, that was easy.
We spent the next three hours squeezing more into our tour of London than I think anyone else has ever successfully squeezed before. We were able to see the Parliament Building, St. Abbey's Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, the Thames River, The Eye of London, Piccadilly Square, the Sherlock Holmes Restaurant, the home of Herman Melville (author of "Moby Dick"), rode a double-decker bus, and topped it all off with a street hot dog! We pretty much saw everything there is to see except Buckingham Palace. We dodged a LOT of drunk people, got caught up into two different dance club crowds, and ate at McDonald's. While we were there, an Irish man came up to us and wanted to shake our hands. With each hand shake, he looked us in the eye and said, "Aye...that's a good fine grip you have there lad! Fancy a fight do ya?"
None of us took him up on the offer. But it was fun. The same Irishman then went on to call a couple of other people "wankers", and then he wandered off in a drunken stupor. What a night!
However, the best is yet to come. On weekends in London, to help alleviate the constant bladder pressure that must plague all of their drunk patrons, the good city of London sets out portable plastic urinals on most street corners. Picture this: a tall gray column of plastic, sectioned off into 4 equal parts, thus enabling four mates all to take care of business at the same time. Of course, not wanting to perturb the balance of British Custom, I figured, "When in Rome..."
It was only after I urinated in Trafalgar Square that we found out that London is the most videotaped city in the world. The average working citizen is caught on video about 820 times a day.
I'm a Star!
Not bad for 4 hours.
On to Aberdeen Scotland!