I know I promised you all updated posts from trip and my word is my bond, it just took a little longer than expected! I’m here in the UK at least once a year and I never feel the jet lag in this direction, but for whatever reason, it has completely leveled me this week! Anyway, onto more exciting things. I touched down on Tuesday morning after a relatively uneventful flight and Heathrow was delightfully quiet. I had sheepishly bought into the hype that I was going to waiting in immigration lines that went on for miles and that I might as well have said C’est la vie to my luggage, because it was suggested that I might never see it again! I’m going to apologize to those of you in advance when your future travel advice is met with a great deal of skepticism. I might have to relegate you to third or fourth in line when it comes to providing information! Oh well. I suppose it’s better to be pleasantly surprised, than to be met with the horror show that was implied.
Along with the airport being a proverbial ghost town, the motorways were completely clear. What most people didn’t consider, and I include myself in this lot, is that just about everyone on the island is currently transfixed to either a live event or television screen somewhere. The Brits may be in the midst of the school holiday period, but they certainly aren’t on the roads, nor are they in the shops. What’s more surprising, and rather discouraging for most London vendors, is that tourists are staying pretty close to their hotels, venturing out only for the occasional meal, and of course, to shuttle back and forth to Olympic events. So there you have it, all the fuss was for nothing! Hence why I’ll be braving London in the middle of the Olympics, on a Saturday. Insert golf clap —>here<—!
For the last few days, I haven’t been staying anywhere near London, I’ve been staying about an hour’s drive outside of it in a burgeoning ‘little’ town called Leighton Buzzard. It’s not the most picturesque city centre, but the drive in is beautiful. Dotted with plump sheep, quintessential rolling hills nestle up against a motorway that lazily meanders through them. And like everywhere else in England, the history here is Medieval. The All Saints church here dates back to 1277AD and to you that may seem new, but to someone like me who hails from a very young city (Vancouver), that’s pretty darn old! Leighton Buzzard is not a tiny town, I mean we’re talking a population of approximately 40,000, and growing. And while my in-laws have lived here for some thirty-five years and are eager to a move a smidgen or two closer to London, after coming here for the last three years, Leighton buzzard has charmed me! The locals are lovably quirky, and always ready and willing to offer an opinion on just about anything, and if you know me, those are my kind of people.
I’m always taken aback by the amount of green space there is, and Leighton Buzzard has some really beautiful parks and strolls. My new favorite stroll is along the canal, where I get to watch the riverboats laze along one side of me, with sheep and shire ponies grazing and trotting about on the other. And if this ever gets too sleepy, and I’m craving the excitement and chaos of London, I just hop a train and 50 minutes later I’m in the middle of it all.
Soooo, have I sold you on Leighton buzzard yet?