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LONDON Chapter 1: Mind the Gap!

London transit

This summer we took the entire family to England for an epic wedding in Devon followed by a four-day excursion to London. I wish I had taken more photos. I wish we could have stayed longer and explored more of the City. For now, this five part series on London should be just enough to give you a window into why this city blows every other city away (sorry Paris). It starts with the continuous thread of civility and courtesy which influences nearly every aspect of the City.

Chapter One: Transit

If only all transit could be this polite. When I rode the Metrorail earlier this week it was fast and efficient, but I wouldn't characterize it as polite or even clean. It's always the same scenario. Wait for the train in the sweltering sun. Try to find a seat where you don't have to sit next to anyone. And definitely, don't touch anything. Forget about anyone smiling or being friendly. But let's transport ourselves, now, to London's Paddington Station.

It's All About Setting the Mood

When I stepped off the Great Western Train in London's Paddington Station after a 2.5 hour train ride from Exeter and a terrifying 40 minute car ride from Devon through a one-lane windy road with eight-foot tall hedges, I looked down and was greeted by this lovely message stenciled on the station platform. And the message's sentiment of courtesy, safety and comfort is woven throughout the station experience. Let's read on for some examples.

The Ceiling

When I looked up, I saw this magnificent ceiling structure. It creates the illusion of being outdoors because of the glass windows which give full view of the sky and the sun. In addition, the building's structure resembles the underside of a bird's wings which made me feel like the whole building was some massive flying machine. The whole experience was truly grand and uplifting.

London transit

Here's another view of the station interior. You just feel that you're somewhere special when you enter.


The Bicycle Storage Closet