For the next several stories, I will relate some things that happened to us in Europe. The trip lasted 3 weeks, and covered 9 countries more or less. It was a life-changing experience in so many ways. These stories do not mean to criticize any country or its people. However, they are true, as I remember them.
First a little background. The trip was put together by Anderson College and was hosted by Mr. Vivian. There were four college kids on the trip, and we all got History credit for the trip, provided we wrote a paper upon returning on what we had learned. There was one high school student on the trip. The rest were mostly current or retired school teachers. Besides Mr. Vivian, I was the only male on the trip. There were 16 of us all together.
We left Greenville on Thursday July 5th and landed in Charlotte. Then, it was onto NYC. We left New York and flew via PanAm to London. The meal on the plane was duck. The movie was "The Thief Who Came to Dinner". I suppose it was a good movie, starring Ryan O'Neal, but it was around midnight, when it was shown, and I didn't get a lot out of it. We landed in London around 7am their time. I was exhausted from the flight and jet lag. My stomach was acting up, so I looked for a sandwich shop in downtown London to get a grilled cheese sandwich to calm my stomach. I found a restaurant and asked them for a grilled cheese. They told me that they didn't know how to do that. I explained how to make it, but they didn't understand. They made me a quiche instead. Not quite the same, but it was pretty good. I left the restaurant and was roaming around the area. An American came up to me and asked me where the US Embassy was. Of course, I didn't know. But, using my great British accent, I pointed him in a direction. He asked me if I was an American, and I told him that I had been living over there, but I was from Kent in southern England. He bought the story, and he went the way I had pointed. I found out the next day that I had sent him in the opposite direction. Oh well. Sorry, buddy.
The next day, we toured London. We saw Westminster Abbey, Parliament, the Tower of London, the Olde Curiosity Shoppe, and lots more. I asked the tour guide if he could point out two special spots--Savile Row, where The Beatles had their offices, and the Ministry of Defence, where James Bond worked in the movies and books. I got to see those two places. We took a lot of pictures, which was good, since the jet lag was still on us. Mrs. Sitton dropped her camera and broke it. She had to buy slides and postcards after that. During the trip, she had to buy another suitcase to hold all of the pictures. After we got back from the tour, we had a little free time. I walked over to Hyde Park and hung out with the locals. I got back to the hotel, and Mrs. Sitton asked me if I wanted to go to the British Museum. We took the tube to the museum and got there 30 minutes before closing time. We didn't get to see much, but I did get to see the Rosetta Stone. That night, we went to see the play "The Mousetrap". It was good, but our bodies said sleep. I found out later that one of the actors in the play later went on to play "M" in the James Bond movies.
One thing about the food. Yuck. I just assume never to eat bean soup with pepper again and not get water until after the meal. My mouth was on fire. One other thing about London. The English were very nice, but our hotel was filled with Pakistani workers. Not to put them down, but I don't understand their language. But to be fair, they probably didn't understand us much either.