I have lost count of the times I have been in the UK by now. Including London. Many years ago I was here on a regular basis on business. Albeit in the city of Milton Keynes. Since I met Alexandra we have been visiting London at least once a year. Oftentimes even more frequently.
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Many Europeans know London. It is the most visited city in the world, in terms of airport passengers (135 millions in 2012), and it is the second largest city in Europe, only surpassed by Paris. There are almost 9,6 million people living in London, but during everyday office hours it is estimated that apprx. 12 million people are present within the greater city limits. This requires a highly effective system for mass transportation and roads in top condition. The traffic density is high at all times, even at night. From apprx. 1831 until 1925 London was the largest city in the world. Today that honor goes to Tokyo, with a whopping 35 million inhabitants within “Greater Tokyo” (WOW!) - 13,2 million in the very center!
We are getting closer to the end of our one-year journey around the world. From early on we have always wanted England to be our last stop. A grand finale on a wonderful journey, and a wonderful year. We are staying with Alexandra’s family and thus Anton now has a great opportunity to play with his two cousins and slowly adjust to the fact that he has to share toys, books and attention with others once again.
During such a journey around the world it is really nice to be able to “tick off” some of the dream destinations. Scotland is yet another one of those.
Scotland is a bit like Ireland in the sense that there are so many clichés and notions floating around. Some are true, most of them are not. However, Ireland and Scotland do have the ever changing weather conditions in common. This means that it mostly rains. I know we do travel during the winter season, but still...
Jet lag! So, it really hit us after all! We have been on the road for well over 10 months and we have always flown in the same direction around the earth. So far we have been able to avoid jet lag by simply flying at the right times of the day and arriving on more or less “human” hours, thus “circumventing” the daily rhythm and the habits of our bodies without too much of an issue. But the flight from New York to Dublin began in the evening and only lasted 5,5 hours from terminal to terminal. With the 5 hours that Dublin is ahead of New York we ended up arriving at apprx. 0700 in the morning without having slept properly (the trip simply wasn’t long enough to fully relax and calm down). This knocked us out and we had to take an afternoon nap in our Dublin hotel room. This then led to insomnia the following night, etc etc. As I write these lines we have been in Ireland well over a week and we have just barely gotten rid of the fatigue. But taken into consideration how many miles we have traveled during the past year I actually think this is quite OK. It could have been much worse!