London 2006

With the recent changes in air travel policies brought on in response to recent threats, I thought folks might be interested in my recent flight experiences. I recently flew on United from Wichita, Kansas to London’s Heathrow Airport, via Chicago.

Security in Wichita hadn’t really changed much since I last flew about 18 months ago. Shoes off and laptop in the tray for inspection. They did move the actual screening area so it was around a corner, but I don’t know when or why they did that. They did swab my laptop, but I understand that’s fairly common, so no big deal.

Chicago is one very busy airport. No security issues there as I was already inside the perimeter.

Arrival in the UK was uneventful as well, not counting the almost hour wait to get through immigration.

So, not much to tell on the air travel front, so we’ll turn to a few thoughts regarding London.

I spent the weekend in London before heading to Bristol for a week of work. I hadn’t been in London for about 6 years, and in some ways little had changed, and in other ways, London is always changing. The subways remain an extremely effective way to get around the city, and though at first I missed the “mind the gap” reminders, eventually I realized the warning is only given in certain stations.

Turning to the dining front, I ate dinner one night at the Bugis Street Singaporean restaurant. That’s the one where I originally learned about coconut rice, by way of a dish known as Nasi Lemak (though I pass on the dried anchovies; my loss). Today I was in a hurry so I tried the Yo! Sushi place located inside Paddington Station. It wasn’t bad, and was way better than typical fast food.

I only had 2 days for exploring this time, but still got to hit a number of tourist favorites, including the British Museum, the area near Parliment, Trafalgar Square and the Picadilly Circus area. It was there that I found a phone shop and purchased a new SIM for my recently unlocked Motorola V600. I now have the ability to call home for 10 cents a minute, any time, any place. Plus, incoming calls are free! Service is provided by Mobile World, and I’m very happy; similar SIMs purchased from the UK and shipped to the US were close to 4 times the price.

I also went to Hyde Park for the first time; it was as beautiful as only a fine English park can be. Another first for me was seeing the London Tower Bridge. There’s a lot of history in that part of town, shown most clearly by the Tower of London which traces its roots back 1000 years.

Of course, I’ve been taking pictures. I didn’t get as many good ones as I’d like, and haven’t had time to process those I do like, but eventually I’ll post a few on Flickr. For now you can check luminosity, where I’ve posted 3 London images so far.

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