Saturday, August 20, 2011

Europe 2002 Trip Report Part 1 Victoria to London

This is the first of a series of posts recalling my trip to Europe, using e-mails sent at the time. Unlike later trips, I didn’t e-mail people everyday. Trip reports are largely as I wrote them at the time with two exceptions: 1. I was usually pretty rushed due to Internet fees in Europe, so I’ve cleaned up my e-mails to make them more coherent, which wasn’t a priority at the time. Also, in some blog posts I’ll add additional thoughts with the hindsight of nine years later or to add further clarification. I’ll use “NOW” in such cases.

This first report covered my trip over as well as my initial time in London

Avoid Victoria to Vancouver ferry buffet during breakfast unless you need a laxative.

[NOW: The trip actually started out weird even before the ferry ride. A crazy woman on the bus started to talking to everyone and got my first name out of me and learned I had a minor role in government and tried pushing me for a job. Then on the ferry in the buffet above there were a few pages for "Andrew" which I think were her trying to reach me about the non-existent job opportunities. After the buffet I flew from Vancouver to London via Air Transat and had to go to the bathroom a fair bit. Ironically in London’s core I took a train from one station to another and the walked to my hostel, only to realize it was very close to the first station.]

Traffic oddities go beyond wrong side of road: cars may try to run you down no matter what the traffic rules, or may stop for you when they have the right away. Following the lead of other people seems to help.

The British Museum is highly recommended and free. Lots of stuff from Before Christ.

May skip any day trips to save money but unsure.

[NOW: I did indeed skip daytrips, for time as well as money.]

If anything I'm using up film at a faster rate than expected.

[NOW: I bought quite a few more rolls of film during this trip. At the time, 24-36 photos per roll seemed fine. Nowadays I use up that many photos just spending a few minutes in a given area.]

Very humid here. Returned to the hostel sooner than expected today to freshen up.

[NOW: The hostel I stayed at was very cheap, L10. Hot water in the shower was a bit of an issue. The first night there was some confusion because they were supposed to assign me a specific bed but failed to do so and I ended up sleeping that first night in the wrong bed. The hostel was above a coffee shop called Orient Espresso.]

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