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Exploring London

Katie and I took the train from Coventry to London Euston Station after breakfast. It was a grand adventure! The train station is a very interesting place full of shops and food vendors and people from all walks of life speaking a wide variety of languages. Many were standing in the middle of the station as though they were waiting... we found out when it was time to find the train home that the platforms for each train are not posted until the train is arriving (much like when the gate is changed at the airport) so as soon as it is posted there is a mad rush of people headed down the ramp to the platform gates. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Helen found us at the station and taught us how to purchase passes that were good for the tube and the buses and then we were off on our adventure. I have not ridden on a double-decker bus before; it was a great way to see London. Helen is a wonderful tour guide and walked us around explaining about the history and buildings in the city. We ended up at the Museum of London. The museum was excellent.

For all my Methodist friends, very close to the museum is Aldersgate Church, where John Wesley first felt his "heart strangely warmed."

After tea and lunch, we went to All Hallows by the Tower. This church was founded in A.D. 675. (I'll let you do the math: 2017-675= ____ ) This was of particular interest because not only did the church survive being bombed during world War II, it has the remains of tessellated floor from a Roman era house in the crypt and an arch from the Saxon era made of old Roman floor tiles. To add intrigue to the history angle, this church is also where several of the Knights Templar were held during their trials in 1311.

As our day came to an end, Helen taught us how to watch for train platform postings. Katie and I were now part of the crowd milling around in the center of the train station. Suddenly, the platform for our train back to Coventry was announced and we, along with a multitude of other passengers spilled down the platform ramp to the gates where harried ticket checkers marked our tickets. We then raced down the platform as the train pulled to a stop and chose the first car for general passengers. (First class is definitely not a budget item on my salary!)

It was a smooth ride and uneventful until we exited the train station in Coventry and I took us in the wrong direction! Katie discovered my lack of direction and we back-tracked. As we got back to the train station and started across the street, I accidentally scared a cab driver who was standing outside his cab waiting his turn to pick up a fair. He didn't hear me coming even though I said "excuse me" and jumped giving the other cab drivers a good laugh. We went on to the station and decided to take a cab since it was now dark. When it was our turn for a cab, it was the cabbie who I had scared earlier. :-) He took us to the hotel and showed us the right street to walk on for our next trip to the station.

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