The Eagle Has Landed – err…How I Got to Birmingham Safely By Jet, Bus and Car

Walk Sign 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.

Interested in following my travels online?
I’ve been updating my pictures and will continue to regularly on Flickr. I am also going to post to twitter and keep my facebook focused and fresh.

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Wess

...is the William R. Roger Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

3 thoughts on “The Eagle Has Landed – err…How I Got to Birmingham Safely By Jet, Bus and Car”

  1. Nice! The place looks beautiful. And good work with the jet lag – hopefully you’ve got it beat (instead of it beating you).

  2. Wess,

    I’m happy you landed safely. Either in Birmingham or when you get back to the States, you have to view a film a documentary on Zizek entitled _Zizek!_. It’s good.

    Peace.

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