02 February 2009
Snowy White London
For the first time in nearly 18 years, London came to a complete standstill today as a result of inclement weather. The culprit? 6 inches of snow. Fortunately, since I have such incredible luck, I was in Leicester during the first snowfall, which meant I missed the initial "wow" of it all and had to travel roughly 120 miles back into the snow-logged city Monday morning!
It all began with a 2-mile bus ride from Lianne's house to the train station. What usually takes 20 minutes took just over an hour and I literally ran onto my train with 15 seconds to spare (no kidding!). It was incredibly reminiscent of my German train experience circa 2007. Fortunately, the trains were moving full speed and we arrived in London on time. Unfortunately, we quickly learned that all bus routes, a majority of taxis and most underground lines were closed! Now, I can understand buses and taxis but the subway? It runs underground! Needless to say, that meant an hour wait for an underground train. At this point, remember, I had yet to see the "damage," as it was being referred to. In fact, that may have been the most entertaining part. All morning BBC Radio was giving live updates as if the Apocalypse was before us. "Good morning Britain. It's treacherous out there. We're recommending only traveling if you must travel (brilliant). Traffic in some places is backed up for more than five miles. Be careful. Be aware. Just stay in" (all said in a lovely, compelling, importance-inducing British accent).
I surfaced at Leicester Square to find a surprising site - the roads were totally clear, just as they had been in Leicester (though people were still moving at about 5 miles an hour). It was still snowing, but the occasional driver had seemed to keep the pavement warm enough to avoid snow stickage (the real doomsday scenario, no?). I walked home, dropped my stuff and learned upon entering that LSE had CLOSED not just Monday but Tuesday as well. SNOW DAY!
I grabbed my camera and hit the town on a "London Snow Day" Photo Adventure! I've dropped a few photos in here and the rest are all on flickr, so enjoy!
Bottom line, this city is magical all the time but add a little snow and it becomes divine. There's that calm, brilliant, silencing effect of snow and to see such a frantic place just sort-of "stop" and take itself in, it's out of this world.
Looking forward to part two tomorrow. For now, I'm just playing catch-up on all things school.