Friday, June 10, 2011

London: Flying Near the Top of the World

Okay, okay so flying over the Atlantic Ocean wasn't nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be. The ever neurotic part of me was pleasantly surprised by the experience. I left Denver in the middle of the day and flew into Calgary. Even though I was essentially "stuck" at the airport in Calgary, those Canadians are certainly the people that you want to be "stuck" with. The ambiance was very relaxed, and as nice as Canadians always are. I even took an airport survey and was pleasantly rewarded with a pen and a chocolate-yummy. :)

Then I headed from Calgary to London in the evening. I expected a late sunset and early sunrise since I was losing seven hours essentially. However, the sun did attempt to set, but it was never past dusk. I saw the most unique sunset that I have ever seen. Due the latitude the sun looked like it was just below the horizon the whole time. It was like a pinky-orange neon puddle surrounded by a meringue of clouds. And when I looked down I could see the Canadian tundra which was beautiful. What a feeling of expansiveness while at the same time a feeling of how small one person really is. I think it will be one of the favorite views of my life. It's imprinted in there for sure.

The funny thing that happened during the flight was that on both flights I sat by the same person; a nice young gentleman originally from Birmingham, England. He was a rather tall chap, so it was a lot of legs. The flight from Denver to Calgary was on a smaller plane, so we were kind of smooshed in there. We didn't really chat until the flight from Calgary to London when we realized that we were once again sharing a flight. The long flight wasn't actually full, so we ended up with a seat between us which was nice. He was currently a graduate student from Manchester who has just attended a conference in Denver about kinesiology, exercise science and sports medicine. He works with high end athletes at a training center in Manchester and will hopefully complete his paper and program in September. It was nice to chat a bit with a native, although the majority of the flight was spent sleeping or at least attempting to sleep. I woke to the breakfast announcement over Scotland--really not as excited about breakfast since I felt like I had just fallen asleep. I felt so lucky to have a spacious flight with a decent seat partner--thank you universe!

I landed in London feeling like a zombie for sure. I was quite hazy and Katy told me all kinds of stuff that still don't remember, but I managed to stay up that rest of the day without a nap. I even went back into central London with Katy. She had some business to attend to, so I spent some time in the Victoria and Albert Museum. I walked through the Medieval and Renaissance rooms. I was pretty okay until I sat to admire a statue and found myself feeling very sleepy and doing a few head bobs. It was peaceful in there, really a not a bad place for nap, but I didn't want my introduction to London to be a gentle tap by a museum employee waking me up. :)

Katy and I just headed back to her place for dinner and the rest of the evening. I pretty much vegged until bed time. A dead sleep enveloped me and I was ready for it.

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