An epic 16 hour layover in London

I double checked my ticket information about a week before I was going to leave Uganda and discovered that I actually had a twenty hour layover at the London Heathrow Airport.  I didn’t mind too much because I’ve never been to London, and I quickly decided that I was going to make it into an epic adventure!  I decided to couch surf because I had used the social network previously when my classmate Andrea and I first arrived in Switzerland for our exchange in 2010.  I made several couch requests to various people, and a guy named William got back to me and was willing to host me and show me around.

The day came for me to leave.  A driver came to pick me up to bring me to the airport at 5:30 in the morning and three of the interns came with me.  The Entebbe airport was crazy but I eventually got through with all of my bags and my guitar.  The flight was smooth but we were delayed in taking off and landing and so we landed two hours late.  After that I had to go through an insanely long customs line and ended up waiting for two more hours to get through.  My phone wasn’t working and so it was almost 9pm when I finally called William on a payphone to tell him that I had arrived.  I paid the extra money to take the quicker Heathrow Express into the city instead of the Tube and finally arrived at Paddington Station.  Upon finding each other we dropped my stuff off at his apartment and then went out again to go for dinner.  By the time we found a restaurant and were done eating it was 11:30pm.  The night would still be young however.  We took the tube and the buses around the city by night even though it was cold and drizzly.  William took me to see the London Eye, the Westminster Parliament Buildings and the Big Ben, incidentally at the stroke of midnight, and Trafalgar square where I saw the countdown for the Olympic Games.  I pretty much got to check off the stereotypical London things that I wanted to say I saw in the twenty or then to become sixteen hours that I had.  Not bad!  We were out until 2am and even after that kept on talking about all sorts of things.  William was a very kind and considerate host and it was great to see the city from the point of view of a local.  I can certainly say that the layover was epic and it was so great to see and experience the city of London even though it was only a dark and rather blurry glimpse!

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