Walking to Rome: First Day in London


Our first day in London is a jet lag recovery day. How we deal with this time traveller’s malady is to hit the ground running. Or, in our case, walking. We arrive early morning at Heathrow, headed into town, deposit our bags at our refuge for the next two nights, Thanet Hotel near Russell Square Park.

We have a rather simple agenda for the day. Buy a small knife for the expected picnic lunches we would be having in isolated British and French countryside. Buy a SIM card for my phone, primarily for navigation on the trail. Buy tickets for a later tour. All are handily accomplished but in the course of a day’s long walk across the city.

Our circuitous, circular walk takes us through the terraced housing of The Brunswick, down Oxford Street, with a peek into Selfridge’s, that all-important first pub lunch at The Three Tuns, across Kensington Park—visiting the Serpentine galleries, Zaha Hadid’s amorphous white addition and Junya Ishigami’s floating slate pavilion on the way—past Royal Albert Hall, around the modern Church of Latter Day Saints temple (which inevitably led to a discussion of faith with an elder a few fractions younger than me), a visit to Harrod’s and eventually back to our hotel. Only to shower and head back out to a dinner at the raucous Brasserie Zédel.

By midnight, we were ready for a sound sleep. We will need it for the next day’s rigourous schedule.

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