December 19, 2015
After quite the adventure, I am at last in LONDON. I am on the train to Harry Potter World, to be exact. (I wish it would start mov – oh! It just did ahah). Let me tell you how I came to be here. The plane landed at 11:30pm (instead of 10:05 as it was supposed to) and I was quite tired because that was really 12:30 for me as London is one hour behind Madrid. I got my suitcase and bought my ticket to take me to King’s Cross. I had JUST booked my ticket when I was told the next train wouldn’t leave till 1:00 because the 12:07 was cancelled. Um…no, thank you. I am not sitting around twiddling my thumbs until 1am. I was quite upset about that…and I had just wasted 12 pounds! Next I bought a bus ticket, “The National Express” for 11 pounds, and I tried to let my couchhost know the plan, but there was no wifi on the bus, despite them advertising it. That’s one of the worst things in the world…there is nothing more aggravating than not having wifi when they say there will be! Luckily, the guy across from me let me borrow his phone….and he helped me look things up. He was very helpful.
As all the tubes were closed due to the late hour, I would have had to take a bus…which would take a good 1.5 hours. The thing is…I had no oyster card and all the shops selling oyster cards were closed. What a disaster! Really, they make it very inconvenient for travelers arriving at night…how are you supposed to buy tickets! And I had no internet…so there’s that. The only fortunate thing was that I was in an English-speaking country. Otherwise, it would have been hopeless.
The helpful boy (Chris) and his girlfriend (Tania) were getting off at the next stop and they said they could show me the bus stop if I got off too. So I followed them off the bus…even though I had the written directions to the place I needed to be, I decided that I would be helpless without a working phone, plus I would be alone at 2:30 in the morning in the dead of winter…) Of course, the bus I needed didn’t come for another 30 minutes…and how could I even get on it without an oyster card!
Then I experienced a sheer moment of travel luck and a prime example of human kindness: they let me stay at their place!(which was actually their aunts!) I have never felt more relieved in my life than I did in that moment walking to the safety and warmth of their aunt’s house. It was a beautiful house, nicely decorated for Christmas with bright purple bobbles on the tree. We had pizza (they even gave me the extra piece!) and then we went to sleep (I got to sleep in the bed!)
Out of all the kind people I’ve met and beautiful acts from strangers I’ve experienced on my travels, this is definitely one of the best. And a prime example of Christmas spirit!
PS: The aunt lived in a very nice area – close to Abbey Road!