Last Stop - London
Trip Start Aug 25, 2003
55Trip End Jul 18, 2004
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"Are you ready?" That was the most uttered phrase Sarah and I spoke to each other the last few days of the trip. I think my answer was always "yes" but in my mind I was probably thinking "but we're only a 5 hour flight from Cairo." It was good that London was our last stop - it made the outrageous prices bearable
London is a really cool city, definitely one of the top 5 of the trip. The British Museaum is a personal favorite of mine, they definitely put alot of though into how the exhibits are presented. We made sure we stopped by Camden to see the "anti-social" punk scene. I think the only picture we took of London was of two punks there. Not too surpringly, the punks were American. The picture cost a pound so I'm posting it to get my money's worth. The money went toward their fund to get home so I figured it was for a good cause.
Despite the riduculously early closing time for pubs, we made sure we hit one so I could get a beer and Sarah got her "fix" of fish and chips. It was probably a good thing the pubs closed early since I was paranoid of the train to our north London hostel being closed for the night and having to pay some gigantic cab fare to get back. Oh, and I was also paranoid of our stuff getting ripped off. It's funny, I never even thought about something being stolen in Istanbul, for example, but just because it's the end of the trip I have this paranoia in some quaint part of north London.
"Are you ready?" At the airport I know we fired this question back and forth to each other several times. In line for our flight it felt strange to hear so many American accents. I guess we should get used to it!
As flights go it was decent, but another worry started to grow in me - our contraband. As I had mentioned in earlier travelogues, we had a one gallon bucket of Moroccan olives with us. Well, besides that we had an actual sealed container of olives and a package of Cuban cigars. Sarah and I debated back and forth on the issue of what to claim at customs. She was in favor of not telling customs anything, I wanted to tell them about the olives. I was afraid that if they saw those and we didn't tell them ahead of time we would be in for a strip search. In the end we wrote down "olives" on the customs information card.
At the Detroit Metro Airport, U.S. Immigration asked us how long we had been gone. Sarah told them "11 months." The reaction to that was not of the "time for a cavity search" vein but more the "Oh, how cool - where did you go?" reply. After a brief discussion on our trip it was on to customs.
"Olives," the customs officer read off our customs card. "What kind of olives? Are they sealed?" I reached into the bag containing the not so sealed bucket of olives and the sealed package of olives and pulled out the sealed ones. Once he saw that I guess he was under the impression that those were the only olives we had (heh heh heh...).
That was it - we were home free!!! An awesome trip woth no major complications!!! In a few minutes we would be seeing Sarah's parents for the first time since China and her sister's childern for the first time in almost a year. In an two hours we would be seeing my parents for the first time since Turkey and my brother and sister-in-law and their kids for the first time in almost a year. The following days and weeks were going to be a blur of reaquainting with our friends and family and telling stories - lots of stories! More than we could capture in these travelogues. Try as we may have to capture what we could on this website, there was just too much to pack in to these updates. So if you want the full story you'll just have to come over with some wine and ask to hear about the trip. Better make a lot of wine, there's a lot to tell.