Today sort of crept up on me and to be honest, it was one thing that I hadn’t thought about before I moved to London, tube strikes!
Now I’m quite lucky as Balham has a train station, as well as the tube and so I knew I wouldn’t be totally stranded this morning on my commute to work. Saying that, I knew it could be ‘interesting’ so thought I’d document the experience.
I planned last night to leave the house earlier than usual this morning, however as I’ve been fighting this dreaded cold, that didn’t quite happen. As I left the house just after 7.30am, my little walk to the station already felt eerily quiet and when I arrived to catch the train to Victoria, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was no busier than usual. Once I arrived at Victoria, I had the option of catching a bus to work (which would take at least 45 minutes) or to just bite the bullet and walk (for about 70 minutes) and in the end, that’s what I decided to go with.
So with a lovely breeze and some light sun, I set off towards Islington, having traded in my trusty Citymapper app for Google Maps, which clearly everyone else was using as I saw more than one or two people walking with their phones outstretched as they looked around them (funny to see what I look like sometimes!)
As I left Victoria, the first things I noticed was just how many people were walking to work, it was strangely nice, like we were all in the same boat.
I was the struck by how much of London I don’t see by commuting via the tube, I don’t get this view everyday!
As I left The Mall, I saw my first of many people communing on a scooter, yes a scooter, just like the one my sister had when she was younger, very striking!
Once I got to Trafalgar Square I grabbed my morning coffee (with an additional yoghurt and granola pot to have when I got to work, I thought I’d deserve it by then) and saw a helix that I hadn’t seen before, they really are everywhere!
From here I was lucky enough to walk through one of favourite parts of London, Seven Dials at Covent Garden,
Before spotting one my first theatres of the day.
Once on Shaftesbury Avenue, it wasn’t long until I saw signs for Islington, meaning that I didn’t have far to go and no sooner had I hit Saddlers Wells and with that, I’d made it and only 20 minutes late for work! I was pretty proud of myself.
Getting home tonight was then also a bit of an interesting affair as after one of my work colleagues had shown me how easy it was to track buses on Citymapper, I thought I’d be brave and get the bus back to Victoria (I, not a fan of London buses, I always feel like I’m going to get lost!) Howeber they have changed quite a bit since I last used one and tell you which bus you are on, where it is going and which stop you are at. I felt most safe, so much so that even having to get on three different buses (they kept stopping them before they got to the end of the line due to the congestion) didn’t phase me and I arrived at Victoria most calm. However I did almost squeal as we drove past Fortnum and Masons and The Ritz, I am still be much a tourist!
A quick train journey from Victoria and I was home after what was actually quite a nice commute to work, to find two lovely ‘New Home’ cards waiting for me when I got in!
So what started out as a day that I felt most unprepared for, actually tuned out to be quite a nice one for a London newbie like me.