We arrived at Heathrow Airport after an uneventful flight (translation-I took a sleeping pill and snored and likely drooled throughout). Made our way to the car rental office and asked for our seven seater van. Only to discover that a seven seater van in Britain is actually a five seater van with two trundle seats where suitcases would otherwise be stored. “No problem!” They said, “you can always upgrade to the next model.” They pointed to a massive Mercedes sports ute. ” Only $2600 pounds!”
“No thanks,” we said, and headed for the tube (subway) entrance.
For the next two hours, we lugged our bags up and down stairs, on and off subways and trains. We were amazed how friendly the Brits were, leading and guiding our little gaggle of pilgrims as we tried to navigate the transit system. One man, Donald, pulled out his iPad and looked up our stop online, to make sure we were going the right way, and pointed out points of interest as we passed.
We ended up in Highams Park in northeast London, droopy and dragging our suitcases on the 15 minute (though by that time it felt longer) walk to our friend Fola’s house. I had met Fola three years previous in Vancouver when she was a student in the 614 Community’s year long War College, and kept in touch and were looking forward to the visit. She cooked us a fantastic dinner (Brits make the best stews) and we crawled into bed as soon as was polite. (Or at least almost nearly polite).
It felt like pilgrimage. An epic journey. I felt like John Bunyon in Pilgrims process, struggling along, heavily laden, but committed to his path.