Hi, I’m finally checking in with you all – sorry it has taken me so long to post. I decided that it would be best if I just tell you what’s happening today and then catch you up on things over the next couple of weeks.
I’m at the Walthamstow Market branch of the Waltham Forest Council Library. Here’s a link for the market and description – I’ve walked along most of it over the last three days while looking for food, the library, free wireless, mobile phone stores, and transit stations:
Dating from 1885, the market is the longest outdoor street market in Europe and spans roughly a kilometre of Walthamstow High Street. Stalls sell an array of food, clothes, and household goods and are complemented by a wide variety of cafes and restaurants selling everything from Caribbean cuisine to traditional Cockney fare like pie and mash or jellied eels.
I’m staying in an AirBNB place about a mile and a half from here on Fulbourne Street. It was relatively expensive compared to staying in a hostel, but a better bargain than I thought because I paid in U.S. dollars and in the conversion to British pounds, I only get 62 pence on the dollar. For the next two weeks starting this Saturday, I’m staying in the Earl’s Court Hostel in southwest London. A room in a dormitory costs about half of what I paid to stay in the AirBNB.
I’m starting to learn the bus, Underground, and train transit system but am still often needing to consult my London map and the “tube” map to find my way around. I just purchased a one month “oyster card” that pays my way in London zones 1-3 in the Underground, on the buses and trains. The buses don’t except currency so the only way to ride them is with some kind of travel card. You hold the card against a round flat reader near the driver and wait for the light to turn green and a “beep”. The driver sits inside a small closed-door enclosure and most of the regular buses have an upstairs.
I’ll add pictures later today and hopefully will be posting regularly from here on.