Hey guys! This will be my first travel story! I originally was going to post my story of being stuck in Zurich, which is fantastic, I decided to go for a shorter story since I’m working on that guide for Chicago, It is really long but oh so good, but divided into easy to jump to sections if you wanna skip some things. Well let’s get this story started.
June 2012 was an eventful month for me, I graduated High school, and went long distance abroad for the first time to Europe with my friends. Our first stop was the Britannic capital of London, what a magnificent and beautiful city it was, our personal favorite. We were flying in with a red eye flight so we arrived into London Heathrow (LHR) early in the morning.
Now, we’re all well educated young adults used to our way of life in the US and used to how things work in major American cities. When we got to London we decided to take the underground, or tube, to our rental unit (I will cover rental units and the best way to get them in a later article). Let me compliment the tube, it is magnificent! Clean, efficient, and not nearly as crowded as many major city subway’s, and at 8Euro a day for an all zone pass quite reasonable. We were all lugging large bags standard for a 10+ day trip, and a carry on as well. We quickly approached our first stop, and we stood up and grabbed our bags to prepare to get off not wanting to hold the train back. Now all of us had been to major US cities like Chicago and New York, mass transit there has motion sensored doors that remain open while someone or something is in the doorway, the tube however does not as we would find out. We were a group of 7, and when the train arrived we quickly grabbed our bags and started getting off as fast as someone can de-board a subway train with heavy luggage. Three of us got off when suddenly a beeping sound began going off and when we noticed the doors of the train closed and it started up, 4 of us still onboard. Like something out of a movie their faces were sticken with horror and the train began moving departing our station, while we on the ground tried giving hand signals for them to get off at the next station. In a matter of second the train was gone and so was over half of our group, best way to spend our first hour abroad! We did not have cellphones that worked, and they didn’t have a train map, being that we were in an English speaking country the only plus. And so here we were. three lonely tourist standing in the Leicester stop hoping that our vacation wouldn’t be cut short due to us loosing our group in the first hour. We waited in agony thinking what we would tell their parents! We decided to stay put and go to the opposite side of the stop to see if they returned. Suddenly while we sat in silence the rush of wind that comes from an approaching train hit us and the electric buzzing of the train was heard, it came to a stop in front of us, and lo and behold, there they were smiles plastered on their faces. Once the doors open they quickly run off carrying the bags by hand and as fast as possible, we were back together and finally could start our trip! On our connection in the tube we were now aware and before our train arrived at our final stop we lined up by the door, lifted our bags as there is no time to roll them off, and as soon as those doors open like a military operation we yelled GO! GO! GO!! and run off that train right on time, the locals having a good laugh at our expense. But we were off and together and heading to our flat, we never got left behind again but when ever the train was full we dispersed on multiple exits to all get off, once one of us almost got stuck again. While most see it as a hassle, we saw it as a great story and an adventured conquered. Now be aware, dragging bags up stairs of these stops was a separate challenge much more tiring on its own! In the end we highly enjoyed mastering the tube in a day, also knowing that you are to stand on the escalators down and up on the right side, don’t stand on the left, people get real rude real fast as we realized. Also before you say, “where does it say that anywhere on here?!’ like I did, check the little signs in the middle of the escalator. But by the second day even we were telling tourist to stand on the right as the signs say! as we ran up the stairs. The tube is magnificent and highly user friendly. But as we know this would not be our last left behind scare of London and definitely not of the trip, this in fact was the least terrifying one, but those I’ll tell you guys later.
Keep checking the blog for updates! Also please comment below what you think of the blog or what’d you’d like to know or any questions about travel! I’d be happy to hear or share my knowledge, if you don’t want to make an account to comment, shoot me an e-mail to the account listed on the contact tab above. Have a great week! and look forward to the Next Stop: Chicago guide later this week!