Thursday afternoon and I'm on Northwest Airlines flight 43 somewhere over the Atlantic. Four hours to get from Harringay to Gatwick Airport and clear check-in and security, eight-and-a-half hours to Minneapolis, a two-hour layover, then another five-and-a-half to Fairbanks. In total, a twenty-hour trip. *Only* twenty hours. It never ceases to amaze me, how blase we've become about air travel. Back in the pioneer days of Fairbanks (early 20th century), I'm told that it took three months to travel "Outside" to San Francisco.
I spent the day yesterday tramping around London. Chris, who commutes downtown every day, told me that since the tube bombings a few weeks ago, the city, which should be in the throes of summer tourism, is relatively deserted. I found that to be true. While there were tourists about, they (we) were fewer than I witnessed during my winter stay. Noontime Trafalgar and Leicester Squares hosted more pigeons than people.
Here's a photo of the Millennium Wheel (I think that's what it's called). Looks like a giant bicycle wheel. Those cars appear to be as big as school buses, though it's hard to tell from across the Thames. The Wheel was under construction during my 1999 visit. If any Londoner is reading this (hint, hint, Chris), maybe you can fill us in on the specs. Just how tall is that thing?
I got back last night at 8:30. Since I left Chris and Pat's door at 8 am, that makes 12.5 hours, plus the 9-hour time change, and it's a 21.5 hour marathon trip, with no sleep except a few airline micronaps. Last night I enjoyed my first full night's sleep in over a week. Ah, to be in one's own bed with one's own pilly.