On the third turn around the station I had it, and I was off. London, at the this beautiful golden twilight hour, was a sparkling, glittering wonderland of buildings. You see this to some extent in New York, and even in Chicago. Walking next to a building built a hundred years ago, and then a building built maybe five years ago. But the sense of time is so oppressive in long. This is time lived in centuries more so than I had experienced before. It was breathtaking.
The way the old buildings mixed with new construction were of particular interest to me. I paused, taking pictures here and there, being amused by the randomness of it. I enjoyed that the streets constantly reminded you which way to look for oncoming traffic. The mind-boggling number of one way streets really would confuse people traveling in to site see from abroad. It started raining a bit, but I had an umbrella and just as I was approaching a turn I and trying to figure out where I was my phone died again.
So here is the challenge. I’m in a foreign country and relying on an electronic map, which would have been well and good had I been able to save that map to my phone, but I had not. Meaning, I’d have to restart my phone and pull the map back up, only I wouldn’t have wifi, so now I’m well and truly screwed, at least a mile out from King’s Cross and not exactly sure what direction I’m supposed to head in. What will I do?
I turn the phone back on. I pull up the wifi, and lo and behold I have a signal from the London Underground. This is when I learned that London is easily the single most wired city I have ever explored. No matter how many times I had to stop and restart my damnable phone, I was always able to get a signal and figure out which direction I should be heading in next. I walked across bridges and plaza, saw more churches, libraries and museums, restaurants and little castles than any human has a right to on a walk, and I found a Tesco, which really, truly did my Korean heart good. And in the end? I came out exactly where I expected to in St. Martin’s Lane, just down the corner from my hotel, which, having found it once was easier to find the next time.
Elated, I walked back to my room, dropped off my bags and decided I should have some food.
As St. Martin’s Lane is the Broadway of London, there is no lack of places to eat, the challenge more finding something I wanted to eat. It was close on 8 oclock. I walked up and down the street. There was a Jamie Oliver restaurant a few blocks up, some chic Indian place that had a line down a block and a half, several pubs, and of course Chinatown.