Well I made it into London (Heathrow Airport) safe and sound yesterday. My day(s) of travel though smooth, was very long. I left on an Air Canada Jet from LAX at 11am on Tuesday Morning May 1st, landed in Vancouver Canada and had a 3.5 hour layover there. Then flew to London on a 9 hour flight to Heathrow. We landed at 11:15am Wednesday May 2nd. Then I took a National Express bus northwest from London to Birmingham at 1pm which was in turn about a 2.5 hour ride. Simon picked me up at the bus station and took me to Woodbrooke. That was probably more detail than you wanted but I have to say that Air canada was a really nice flight for both legs of the trip and that it’s ridiculously hard to sleep on a plane.
My first impressions of England are that it’s very different and very much the same. I mean they use English here, but we have some many different words! My favorite so far is probably their use of “trolley” for grocery “cart.” I learned about that one tonight while on a walk to the grocery store. Oh, and Simon told me yesterday that “bloke” is not a mean word, it sounded like one to me.
It’s really disorientating to see people driving on the other side of the road, I was so afraid I was going to get crashed into while crossing the street. Fortunately there were signs painted on the road telling you which way to look! Every time a car drove past me I felt a little dizzy – like my eyes were out of focus or something. Is this normal or am I wacky? (wait – don’t answer that).
Birmingham seems pretty giant at this point, mainly because I have no idea how to get around, haven’t seen much and don’t know where to go but I am excited to do some more exploring soon. The weather has been beautiful so far as well and where Woodbrooke is located is in a beautiful part of the town called Selly Oaks (well at least the grounds and campus are great).
By the way Woodbrooke is awesome. It is a B&B, a retreat for spiritual renewal, and a “study center.” The grounds around here are very peaceful, the people are really friendly (which is fitting), the building is relaxing, the library is amazing and the food is great. I couldn’t ask for me. (You can see pictures here)
Yesterday, when I got in Simon had a nice welcome all set up in the room where I am living, which was very helpful since I was feeling far away from home. He also packed a lunch and showed me Vimto, one of his favorite drinks and now I know why.
And my Jet lag seems to be just fine – I stayed up pretty late yesterday night and got up pretty early today and now I am blogging at 11:15pm. Everything’s about normal right?! I need to go to bed now.