Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Traveling around London

For those of you who haven't traveled with me, which would be just about everyone reading this, I thought I would fill you in on how I like to travel, or wander, throughout a city.  As I did last year throughout Europe and in 2009 after the World Championships in Berlin, I rarely have a plan when going to a city.  I usually book my hotel a week or so ahead of time.  It's amazing how easy online search engines make the process.  After any practices or meets are finished with, I use the remaining time to wander through a city.  Having done this enough I have a pretty good feel for public transportation, etc.  I'll grab a city subway (Tube) map and just start picking out places to go.  Once I arrive, I generally ramble around the area until I see something that interests me.  If not, I'll simply jump back on the subway and find another place to explore.  I couldn't do any of this without my music and my camera.

I've done this the past two days and came across some pretty neat stuff:

1. Buckingham Palace

2.  Downing Street 

3.  Westminster Palace and Big Ben

4.  The London Eye

5.  Tower Bridge

6.  The Tower of London

7.  The Gherkin

On top of all that wandering, I was also able to meet up with an old friend from Wake Forest and her husband and a cousin of mine (I said a distant relative in an earlier post, which is sort of true since she lives in London and I don't think I've ever met her before, but, of course, my mom corrected me and told me she's actually my second cousin).  

Tomorrow I'm going to Lee Valley to meet up with one of the coaches that I used to work for at the University of Florida, Dan Pfaff.  He's been over here for four years helping to coach the British athletes.  Here's a link to an article about him (he's the one with the mustache): 

Finally, I'll be heading to Sczcecin, Poland on Thursday for our last meet before the Games.  I got a neat email from Cousin Ellen about this city.  In her words:

Flo's (my great grandmother) parents emigrated from Sczcecin, Poland! And I imagine, other than when her parents went back to visit on the eve of WWII, you are the only family member to have returned.

So there you have it.  A pretty cool family connection that I had no idea about until a few days ago.  

I think that is enough for now.  At least enough to keep my parents satisfied for a few days.  As always, if anyone has any questions or comments, please let me know.

Until next time

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