After a month of glorious Mediterranean sun, we were not quite prepared for the gloom and drizzle that typifies London when we rolled into town. For the first time in a long time, we had to dig out our jackets, jeans and raincoats (which is no easy task with such expertly packed backpacks) just to make the walk from our train stop to our accommodation. Perhaps as some kind of compensation, having English as the preferred language was such a relief! And also unexpected, catching Sack off guard at the airport when the nearby staff member responded to his undirected question. We soon realised we had to quickly unlearn our 'broken English' communication skills and remember how to speak normally!
Despite the dreary weather we still managed to get out and see some sights, including: scoping the Queen's pad; strolling and cycling through Hyde Park and meeting its resident squirrels; discovering the joys of gale force wind blowing through the 'trees of death' (polluting the air with their eye-attacking pollen); gawking at the luxury and extravagance of Harrods; obligatory touring of old things like the London Bridge (and Big Ben, from a distance); and of course, a healthy amount of pub inspections.
One thing about London that really became obvious was how POLITE everyone is - even the train station announcements were spoken as if they were afraid of offending someone. This was great for us as tourists on yet another public transport network, as there was no shortage of detailed announcements and pleasantly worded signage to guide us; compared to some networks, using the London Underground was a breeze.
The food in London was also eager to please: indulgent, heavy and much like home in its range - although double the price! That said, one of our highlights was catching up with Dan and Zoe, a lovely couple we met on a bike tour in Berlin, and sharing delicious burgers and beers as the chin wagging carried on until the late hours of the evening.