London is a not-very-attractive city surrounding an incredibly beautiful city. I suppose that's true for most cities but it's especially true of London. Coming in from the east end (I arrived at London City Airport on CityJet -- basically their version of Porter but with jets -- the level of shift in aesthetics was jarring.
I took an Uber in to save a few pounds and he turned out to be a reasonable tour guide on the way, pointing out the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London as well as some other landmarks.
I arrived at around 8:30 at my hotel which understandably did not have my room ready yet. I knew this was likely, so operating on a questionable amount of sleep (I can never sleep well before and early flight -- my brain always thinks I'm going to miss it) I headed out into London. I stared at the Underground map for several minutes and then decided to walk. I picked this hotel because it was relatively close to everywhere and it paid off today.
It's right beside the British Museum, but the weather was good so I decided to see what I could see and left the inside of the museum for tomorrow. I went through the West End Theatre district, Picadilly Circus, and Trafalgar Square which I was not expecting to be as thoroughly awesome as it was with Horation Nelson atop an enormous pillar guarded by four lions.
Then I took a right to Buckingham Palace and saw some Horse Guard ride by. Then down to Big Ben, which of course is right beside the Palace at Westminster (Parliament) which is of course right across from Westminster Abbey. Crossed the river and took a picture of the big ferris wheel also known by it's official title -- the Coca-Cola Eye of London. I got caught in a sudden torrential rainstorm and huddled in the underground. I considered taking it but the line for tickets was fifty deep so I waited out the storm instead. Then I had lunch.
I walked back to the hotel, got my room, and took a long nap. So that was my first day in London. I was a bit dazed from lack of sleep so in my memory it seems almost like a dream. But I have the pictures so it must've been real.
Tomorrow the plan is to go in-depth at a couple of museums and head out to the Tower of London proper.
I'll report back.