Archive for london

Street Collage

Posted in Creative Photography, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by Scott Hanson

The Beginning of the End

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2012 by Scott Hanson

I woke up around six a.m. on the first and spent an hour and a half chasing the small, yellow signs among the dark, frigid rat maze streets of Venice. This was the very beginning of the first leg of my long journey home. Two and a half hours on a train to Milan, another two hours to Genoa, ninety minutes to Ventigmilia, one hour on a bench, a quick forty-five minute ride to Nice, followed by three hours roaming the streets, then a thirteen hour sleepless overnight train ride to Paris, four hours shivering in a freezing cold train station followed by a final two-hour trip to London and the first leg was over.

I am glad to be back in an English-speaking country. France and Italy were amazing, but I can’t help feeling, I missed out. The true value of travel is in the cultural interaction, much of which you can’t experience without speaking the native language.

Day Four in London – Photographs

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2012 by Scott Hanson

london, travel

parliment, big ben, clock, tower, london
london, england, abbey road, beatles

Travel Map

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2012 by Scott Hanson

Day Two in London

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2012 by Scott Hanson

Day four was payday, the long flight and lack of sleep all became worthwhile. I got up early and headed for the British Museum. On the way I stopped into a little cafe for the Full Monty (eggs, bacon, sausage, fried tomatoes, mushrooms, toast, baked beans and a pot of tea). A strange breakfast, but I guess it’s no worse than starting your day with 500 calories of deep-fried, freshly processed McDonald’s. Anyhow, it wasn’t about the food.

rosetta stone, london, england, british museum, museum, photography, photo

rosetta stone, photography, travel, british museum

The Museum was amazing, the highlights were the Parthenon sculptures and the Rosetta Stone. After seeing the later, I’m beginning to think alien life isn’t such a far-fetched fantasy. The intricacy of the lettering looks as if was inscribed with a laser. It is bizarre! The museum took up all of the morning and being that it gets dark around 4pm this time of year I had to hurry to get to Tower Bridge before sundown. It could have been that I was tired, but Tower Bridge didn’t live up to all the hype. Don’t get me wrong it is beautiful, but in London, beautiful architecture is everywhere.

tower bridge, london, england, travel, photography, blog, bridge

I was exhausted when i made it back to the hostel, but I hadn’t been to a pub since my arrival and I had to have a draw of ale. There was a little pub around the corner from the hostel called Queen’s Head, I couldn’t resist. Every place you go to in London seems formal. Most pubs are no exception. A guy living out of a backpack feels a bit apprehensive when dining with linens or having tea out of porcelain, but it’s unavoidable. The place was elegant. It was filled with intricate furniture upholstered in rich gaudy colors and the bartender wore a large black bow-tie. The bar showed it’s age, it had the nicks of a thousand pint glasses being slammed a bit too energetically by enthusiastic football fans and then being smoothed by time and touch. It was the ideal English pub. The only tap I recognized was Stella Artois, it being my absolute favorite beer I couldn’t resist. They even had the proper glass. I got to talking to a Canadian from the B.C., he had been on travels since June and was heading north to Scotland the next day. when I mentioned I was leaving for Paris the next day and I couldn’t get him to stop talking. I had to abandon the situation, but not before acquiring a souvenir. The real challenge will be getting my Stella chalice back to the U.S. in one piece.

My First Day in London

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2012 by Scott Hanson

My first day in London was a bit of a waste. Maybe a bit more planning wouldn’t have been the worst thing, but why change now. I have never been one to plan things, I prefer to learn from living.

Most of the morning was spent in search of wi-fi. Internet is everywhere in London, but like everything else here it is not cheap. I’ll put day one in the educational category. I got my bearing, bought an umbrella, familiarized myself with the public transit, checked into the hostel and tried catch up on sleep.

hostel, london, backpacking, travel

Day Two

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2012 by Scott Hanson

I finally drifted off sometime after 3am and woke around 6 am to leave for the airport. Security was packed with people returning home after the holidays. On my way to the gate I grabbed a Latte at Starbucks and drank it slowly trying to take note of the flavors, texture, and aroma. It was delicious as always, but I have a prophetic feeling Starbucks, could lose its hold on me once I’ve had a “real” french cafe`.

The flight was on time and it was a beautiful morning. I didn’t have a window seat and I could tell it was bothering the
passenger next to me but I couldn’t stop looking out the window. As we passed through the fluffy, white Cumulus clouds and
continued to rise the ground was replaced by a bed of cotton. The type you find in a miniature Christmas village. Seven hours and 4000 miles later we had crossed the Atlantic and were landing at Heathrow Airport. We lost six hours on the flight, making it about 10:30pm, London time. Customs took only a half hour, but was fairly nerve-racking. Waiting in the line brought on the familiar nervous feeling that comes when a police car is behind you at a stop light and you start running through the possible violations, checking the not guilty box in your head. Of course I filled out my landing card improperly, which annoyed the agent.

I have always admired cities with effective public transportation. My first trip on The Tube was great. With a bit of dumb luck it was not overly difficult to figure out. It is nearly identical to the L Train in Chicago. However, unlike the L it was a smooth ride and the soft feminine voice telling me to “mind the gap” was the only thing keeping me awake. After forty minutes, I arrived at my stop. Now I just had to find a bed for the night.

The first thing I saw as I walked out of the subway station was a big red double-decker bus. Everything before that moment
had felt dreamy and surreal. The bus snapped me into reality. I was in London and it was certainly foreign. I had copied the
directions to a hostel, however I didn’t have a reservation until the next day. Turns out that was the least of my troubles.
There are no street signs in London. After about a half hour of wandering around I realized the names of the roads were posted on the sides of buildings. I began to head back to the station to try my directions out again, but dumb luck struck again and I ran into a different hostel where I was able to get a bed for the night.