England / London

The Tube

Waterloo Station:  Yes, this chaos is organized.  Mostly.

Waterloo Station: Yes, this chaos is organized. Mostly.

Ok, I must stop and say a few words about how awesome the Tube system is here.  Seriously.  I am in love with it and have no idea why, in the states, we can’t make practical progress on this.  There is nowhere that we have wanted to go, that we can’t just walk a few blocks to a tube station, hop on, and hop off a few blocks from where we want to be. At most.

Even the times it’s more complicated, switching lines, is really not hard to figure out.  Sometimes we even have switched lines, then switched from the Underground to the Overground, then switched Overground lines – which is just what it sounds like, over ground trains – and then hopped off farther out from London.  No problem.

The whole system, which also includes the buses, work on what is called an Oyster Card, a pre-loaded card you just hold on the pad as you enter and leave.  Add more cash as need be.  Or you can work on individual tickets that are inserted and spit back out as you go.

I really like it.  I was a bit intimidated at first. but we overcame it easily. We have had no problems using the system every day we have been here, hitting at least 10 or more stations including Underground, Overground, and stations that are both.  Just keep your head up, eyes open, and read the signs.  There were one or two times we though we had no idea if we were choosing the correct hallway, or we wound up on the wrong platform, but none of that is un-doable.  So you just go with it.

We haven’t needed a car, or a cab, the entire time we’ve been here.  We took a cab once, but it was entirely our choice, because we had just arrived with all our luggage.  In reality, this wasn’t needed.  Tomorrow, as we leave for Paris, we’re taking our luggage on the train system!

You couldn’t pay me enough to drive a car around here.  It completely confuses me.

3 thoughts on “The Tube

  1. I don’t know how the Chunnel works, but if you happen to see the White Cliffs of Dover at any point, tell the girls that some of our ancestors on Mom Mom’s side came from the Dover area. I always wonder whether they really came from Dover or whether it was a point of departure for coming to America, but it is mentioned in Ben’s Ancestry.com family tree.

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  2. I love that you’ve actually praised the London Underground system – I think it’s something that many people take for granted in the city. But once you’ve been on other metro systems, like Fance and New York, I think UK’s is so much better (and I’m not just saying that cos I’m from the UK). It’s clean, there is always staff to help you, and it’s frequent 🙂 x

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    • I think it’s very different than the states, and it was so useful and affordable! Taking a train to another town is pricey here, and the frequency of the trains makes it inconvenient most of the time. Public transportation that actually made life easier was wonderful!

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