Saturday, July 28, 2012

End of London, on to Scotland

Were I a writer or an artist seeking inspiration, I would buy myself a train ticket cross a country and look out the windows, while listening to a brilliantly constructed playlist of music.

My lovely friends walked me to my station at 5 this morning to say goodbye. We hadn’t slept all night.
The evening began with the certificate ceremony and tea dance at Guildhall.

 Then most of S4 went to find a place to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. We ended up going to a place near Sloane Square in Chelsea. We got food at a McDonald’s (truly a Londoner; not trying to seek out “Londoney” pubs!) and a lot of us got collector Olympic Coca-Cola Cups and armbands with our meals. Then we found this park with a very large screen, where we joined several hundred other people in watching the ceremonies. It was so cool to be in the city where it was happening, and to think that I had actually seen the stadium! The people watching were not only from Britain, either; we were sitting by a Japanese couple. But there were plenty of people from the U.K., and they were all majorly enthusiastic. I found myself feeling strangely patriotic toward Britain, but I still cheered extra loud when the American team walked.


Then a bunch of us went back to Sundial, where we hung out with some kids from the jazz summer school for a bit. I met a fellow named James who studies percussion at Guildhall during term but was working housekeeping this summer. He walked us around the Barbican area, and we found some new crannies and corners to see. We went down to the “Thames Beach!” It was this rocky and very muddy place by the water. Then it was time to go back and pack up.\

On to Scotland

My trip from London to Mallaig was over 12 hours, but it wasn’t unenjoyable. In fact, it was quite lovely to do nothing but sit by a window and listen to Celtic and soundtrack music and to doze off and then wake up to the soul-stirring landscape passing by. I was able to spend an hour in Glasgow for lunch between trains, which was nice. I’ll spend an afternoon there on my way back. While people in London were not unfriendly by any means, in these more northern parts there is an element of openness and friendliness that is not unlike the southern U.S.
Mallaig is this charming coastal town with a little port. I am staying at the Sea View Guest House, which I would highly recommend if you are ever in the area. I take the ferry to Skye tomorrow.