London: Tube, Piccadilly & more
Enough relaxing around Muswell Hill! Later that day, our son-in-law announced that we are all going into central London to the Apple store then dinner to his favourite restaurant in his favourite part of the city.
That was our introduction to London’s public transit. We first took one of those ubiquitous red double-decker buses to the nearest tube station. London’s underground is VERY deep which meant many flights of stairs and escalators to navigate. Unfortunately for me and my bad knees, this station’s very long down escalator was out of order (and remained so for the rest of our stay so we ended up always bussing to the next metro station on the line.) We also had the youngest granddaughter in a stroller which had to be frequently lifted and carried by two people. It was not the place for people with mobility issues! Not being used to the underground (Vancouver’s Skytrain has only a short section underground in the downtown area) we felt quite overwhelmed by the great rush of people all elbowing their way past and pushing into and out of the tube. Canadians are definitely more polite! It’s fast, efficient but not the most pleasant way to commute, we felt, even after doing it for over two weeks. We liked the bus much better.
When we emerged from the underground into daylight at Oxford Circus, we were totally stunned by what we saw! Immense streets and palace-like buildings with huge crowds – it was rush hour after all. While the men went into the Apple store to pick up something we girls briefly browsed through some of the very upscale fashion shops on Regent Street, I think it was. Then we all strolled along several grand streets and areas with well-known names like Piccadilly Circus, Bloomsbury, Carnaby Street, Soho, Leicester Square…. my head didn’t know which way to turn! All somewhat of a blur but very impressive! Even the dinner in a Spanish tapas restaurant in the Soho area was amazing. The entertainment district at twilight with its big theatres, neon lights and lively crowds was a memorable finale to our introduction to big city London on our first full day there.