Rewind 4+ months and 12+ countries ago to when I met Dan in Perugia. Dan’s an Australian but has recently taken up residence in London. With a scraggly beard and a man-bun that puts my own to shame, his pot-head appearance doesn’t match his devout evangelical faith. After hearing Dan’s stories of Londoners soliciting him for drugs, I at least know I’m not alone in my observations about his hippie-esque appearance. More on how Dan reenters the travel saga in a moment.
Wimbledon was reason #1 for my journey to the UK as some old college tennis teammates jumped the pond to join me. Of course, we lacked the foresight to purchase tickets online in advance so instead, we ventured into the famous queue. Or maybe infamous. We arrived at 5:50am on a Saturday morning only to learn we were #7,787 in line. Four Scottish friends, six bottles of Rose, and eight hours later, we bested the queue and gained entry. Tennis is cool but queuing is better. Who knew the British had the wherewithal to make line-standing convivial.
Invigorated by queuing part 1, I concluded my best plan of action from both a budgetary and entertainment standpoint was to find a tent and camp out at the Wimbledon grounds for two nights. I asked Dan (from paragraph #1) if he might have a spare tent. Thinking I would be homeless without him, he quickly offered me a stay in his guest room. With the option of a roof and a shower, I nixed the aforementioned Wimbledon part #2 plans and reunited with Dan.
It proved a fantastic decision for Dan’s tour guiding abilities are unparalleled. By day, he left me with detailed schedules of meal, tourism, and coffee destinations. By night, he took me out to restaurants, bars, and parks for Frisbee tossing. A short compilation of photos from the various adventures is below.
Finally, and who knows maybe it’s why Dan and I got along so well, we both had the same first impression of London. “Great Scott,” we independently pondered, “I’ve only been in London for five minutes and I’ve already seen a Double Decker bus!” Apparently, they actually use these Harry Potter evocative buses to shuttle real, live people around. The things you learn while travelling!
One more weekend in London with a British friend I met four years back in a Peruvian hostel. Then, it’s off to the Brighton farm home of a friend I met volunteering in Greece.