When traveling always plan for the unexpected. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, my plane out of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York was delayed by three hours due to an "unruly character" that alarmed flight attendants enough to stop the flight from taking off.
Instead of leaving for London at 6:50pm, I flew out of Queens, New York at around 9:45pm. This changed my arrival time at Heathrow from a super early 6:50am arrival to a somewhat disappointing 10am arrival.
This threw my entire schedule off a bit, but no worries, I was in London and loving it. When I arrived at my hotel at around 11am, the front desk informed me that my room would not be available until 2pm. Fortunately they offered to take my bags and let me use their study which had Wi-Fi and was pretty comfortable.
If I had a dollar (or pound) for every time I looked left…
However, what had been scheduled to be an all day jaunt around London, turned into a late afternoon stroll. As a traveler one of my favorite things to do is just get lost in a new city. While I have stopped in London many times en route to other cities, this was my first chance to actually get engulfed in the local feel of one of the world's most popular destinations.
It was funny to encounter the well known "Look Right" and "Look Left" signs on the ground for foreign travelers used to looking the opposite way when crossing the street. While I thought to myself how silly for a city to have to write this on their streets, I honestly found myself looking the wrong way on more than one occasion.
Super busy Oxford Street is lined with restaurants and lots of shopping
Some of the attractions and sights that I was able to check out before the sun went down included Hyde Park (which was a stones throw away from my hotel), bustling Oxford Street and of course an English pub or two. What can I say, I am a sucker for an extra cold Guinness in a pub setting.
This is not the first time that a monkey wrench was thrown into my plans and I had to skip the itinerary for a last minute change in schedule. I experienced something similar in cities like Rome, Florence and San Francisco when I visited them all for the first time.
Whether it be bad weather or a delayed flight causing me to show up later than expected, I always find that simply wandering a new cities streets really helps you feel more connected to it in the long run.
One of the infamous red telephone booths of London
So for today's "Long Weekend in London" question. What city on your travels did you feel was extremely simple and easy to navigate on foot? What city was so confusing that you kept getting lost and never wanted to return again.?
We will pick two comments at random and annouce them in one of tomorrow's London themed blog stories.
You have between 8am ET and 6pm ET each day to answer the daily
question. Please be sure to include your name, email address and
twitter name (optional).
Wednesday's winners: The two entrants chosen from Wednesday's article are Elaine Kontra & Patrick Kaszubski. You are both now
entered into the grand prize drawing on Tuesday February 2 for the
"Long Weekend in London."
Need help planning your next London getaway? Get some great ideas from our London Travel Guide.