This was quite literally my response when I stepped out of the Tower Hill station to walk the street to the Tower Gateway station. Of course, I was looking at the incredible Tower of London. But let me rewind; I kicked things off in London to ease myself in. My friend AE told me that it wasn’t much different than the US in the grand scheme of things. London is what I imagine NYC to be like (haven’t been there yet, ironically) and it reminded me of Chicago (which I’ve visited too MANY times).
Gatwick airport was packed. I had no idea how to get to my Airbnb location. Like a dummy I bypassed the little booth with the attendants waiting to HELP PEOPLE RIDE THE TUBE. I did it partially because of my pride, and honestly, partially because of fear. If there’s one thing I would like to impress upon fellow travelers, it is that you should never, ever, ever, be afraid to ask a question. You should also never, ever, ever, be afraid feel stupid. You are in a land that’s not your own. Having questions and looking stupid is a given, so embrace it!
So anyhow instead of talking to a live person who probably would have given me lots of help and saved me lots of money, I got in line (or the queue, as Brits call it!) to use the automated machines. It was pretty intense. The line was long, but there were staff to keep it moving. They were not the most sunshine-y of people, but who could blame them? They basically herd cattle all day.
I got some bad directions from a totally different information booth and ended up at Victoria Station, which was pretty cool. Things are much easier when you remind yourself that part of the fun is getting lost!
So anyhow, as I was saying…I stepped out of London Tower Hill station and looked to my right and just stopped. I looked around and everybody was just walking around like everything was all gravy, and here I was wanting to stop people and say, so you don’t see that castle right there? I’m pretty sure I said, out loud, There’s a castle. In the middle of your city. right there. A big ol’ castle. Nobody sees that?
Clearly, they were no longer impressed with it.
As a starry-eyed American who’d never been anywhere, I couldn’t get over it. Who gets to have a frickin’ castle in the middle of their city?! People who aren’t Americans, that’s who! It ended up being one of my very favorite cultural landmarks to visit on my travels.
Anyone ever been? What did you think of it?