“Next Stop: Knightsbridge. This is a Piccadilly Line service to Cockfosters”
I hear this phrase so much, sometimes I feel like I can perfectly imitate the polite British-accented voice narrating my train ride twice a day. Since moving to London, I have become quite accustomed to the various forms of transportation in the city.
Before arriving, I was overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of the city’s size. I’m somewhat known for my terrible navigation abilities at home, so I did have some concerns about how I would explore the city. Looking at the tube maps array of lines and colors, I thought for sure I would be lost on my first day. I was shocked and surprised when I arrived quickly to my place to discover just how simple it actually was.
Armed with the Citymapper app on my phone, I primarily take the tube everywhere. I am fortunate to have a relatively short 40 minute commute to my internship everyday. To get the work, I take the Piccadilly Line service which runs from Heathrow Airport through the center of the city past various major landmarks. This means that there are always a variety of passengers on my trains, from tourists arriving and leaving with their suitcases, international shoppers on their way to Harrods, or children on class field trips. This variety makes the train usually pretty full, especially around rush hour when I am leaving work, but I like being around so many different types of people. While the unofficial rule is all quiet on the tube, I feel that my trains are never silent, but rather buzzing.
I’ve taken a variety of public transportation in my life, but I can honestly say the Underground is the best I have ever used (sorry Port Authority). The trains always run on time and very frequently, so my professors won’t take that as a late excuse. The tube stations are very well marked, so transferring lines is a breeze. The only thing about tube life is that you are primarily underground in the darkness, so every once in a while I like to switch it up and take the bus. The bus is a bit slower, but travels just as extensively as the tube. I think everyone should sit on the second floor of a double-decker bus, as its a great way to see the city!
When I am not going to my internship, I am in class. While I can take the tube to the CAPA Center, it takes the same amount of time to walk so I prefer that instead. Since I’ve been in London, the weather has been pretty mild and I have found I really enjoy my peaceful 30 minute walk to class. Its an easy way to sneak in a bit of exercise, and it makes me feel more clear-headed and awake for class.
While there are so many efficient ways to get around, I will say that they all take time just due to the sheer vastness of the city. When I first arrived, it took a little bit of time to get adjusted to building in 30 minutes to an hour to get anywhere, but it has gotten easier to schedule with time.
For everyone traveling to London, make sure to remember your oyster card and Mind the Gap!
Ta-ta for now!