Sunday, December 16, 2007

Out of Africa.....

Two weeks after my last post I managed to find my way out of the Sahara. In total I was there for six weeks. I don't know if I'd want to work a regular rotation out there (especially when it is 135 degrees) but it was a good experience.
On the way home I got to spend two nights in London to sight see a little. I think there are somewhere around 7 million people in London and I'm pretty sure all but a few of them were on one of the trains we tried to get on while we were downtown. To say that London is a really busy place would be a huge understatement. I can't imagine trying to commute to work on a daily basis into downtown. However I will say that they have a really good commuter train system.

I had a whole list of things I wanted to see but I think I'd need more like a week just wander around downtown. If you take in a museum it pretty much wipes out a whole day. I was with Hans (my Swiss-Texan Engineering Companion) and we walked all over and still didn't see as much as I'd hoped. We toured the Tower of London which took four hours or so, and it was a whirlwind tour at that. The Tower of London is actually a castle with walls and at one time a mote. It is where the Crown Jewels are kept on display. There are some pretty impressive pieces in the collection, let me tell you. I think I took more pictures of doors than anything, I love the old gothic style wooden doors.

Growing up in Alaska doesn't give a person much of sense of history so it is pretty awe inspiring to be at a site that was first built on by the Romans in the second or third century and added to ever since.
We were blessed with a blue sky day which is rare I think for London in December. The days are pretty short there also, I think it started getting light about 7am and dark between 5 and 5:30. It is a little hard to tell when you are amongst all of the tall buildings though.
London is definately a place I want to visit again.

Here are a few pictures on my way out of Algeria and while in London.

The Flight out; a welcome sight.

A drilling rig amongst the dunes.

Why it is called the Sea of Sand.

The flares from the refinery at Hassi Messaoud.

The southern coast of England.

Flying over England.

Heading down into the Tube.

The streets of downtown London.

Wandering about downtown.

London Bridge.

Tower Bridge over the Thames River.

The Tower of London.

Inside the Tower of London.

One of the gates once inside the original drawbridge.

Makes you feel pretty small on the time scale.

One of the original walls, even before the English.

Tower built on the same Roman Wall.

One of many suits of armour on display.

I don't remember for sure but somwhere near Piccidilly Circus.

On our walkabout.

The train we passed trying to squeeze onto, twice! This wasn't even rush hour.

AHH, to be home again!

The dunes were beautiful but this is my favorite view!

No sand, no traffic, no people, a nice relief.

The sunset was something I missed also!

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