LONDON TRAVELOGUE - Gatwick Station to London
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Gatwick Station December 27
Well here we are at Gatwick train station, which is just outside of Gatwick Airport. Normally we'd be waiting for a train straight into London, but today they're making improvements to the tracks, and so the Gatwick Express isn't running. Instead we have to get on this train, travel partway to another station, change to a bus and drive some of the way, then get on another train which will take us to King's Cross Station.

Gatwick Station

I walked farther down the platform for this picture, I thought it was cool. Way down the track is where the improvements are supposedly being made.

Mind the gap"Mind the Gap" is sort of a catchphrase in see it all over the place at train stations and tube stations. (The 'tube' is the London underground subway, which sprawls under every part of London, and can take you to (or very close to) anything you want to see.)

The phrase refers to the narrow gap between the platform and the train, but you can buy T-shirts, decals, even thongs which say 'Mind the Gap'. (To answer your question, yes.)

The train

Here's a train like the one we were waiting for. At the base of the train is the infamous 'gap'.

Mind the gapMy girlfriend and me on a train. The picture was taken by an American, a very small stout black woman who had about eleven huge heavy suitcases of her own to lug around, each nearly as big as she was.

We ended up doing a lot of the lugging for her--there were plenty of stairs to deal with switching from train to bus to train again. My girlfriend's nice like that. (Especially when she's volunteering my services.)

I'd be nice like that too, but that would mean talking to people.

The train

Hey look, it's a train speeding by. This train is a few tracks over. It was somewhat unsettling when a train whizzed by on the adjacent track...two trains, each going about 80 mph, separated by like eight inches.

Mind the gapMy first double-decker bus. Yes, that's an ad for Night at the Museum, which we saw at the Odeon later in the week. They have the same dumb movies we do apparently.

This bus trip wasn't as fun as it should've been, because 1) I wasn't on the top level looking out the front window, and 2) I was sitting with one hand on the luggage to keep it from falling the whole time, while my girlfriend was back a few seats doing whatever she was doing. But, once I figured out I could keep the luggage pretty still with my foot, in a way it was better than a train ride, because we got to go through London rather than just whiz by it, or ride the tube underneath it.

I spent a lot of time looking at things like TV antennas on roofs (or 'aerials' if you prefer. They all point the same way.), and speed limit signs, and McDonald'ses, and trying to reconcile driving on that side of the road and yet somehow not getting killed. That took pretty much the whole trip.

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