I barely left the bench while riding the London Eye. Every time I tried to move and peer closer out the glass, I felt the world begin to bend and physics fall away. I sat right back down. Occasionally, I had to squeeze my eyes shut as we climbed higher and the city slipped away.
It was sunset and the city burned a dark reflection on the Thames. I barely noticed, consumed with calculating the number of disasters that might occur at any moment. The descent was better and for a moment I was able to appreciate the yawning stretches of bridges in the distance and the creamy sky. I was happy to greet the ground.
London was not what I expected. It was at once old and new. The same city that Charles Dickens had roamed and yet a city he would barely recognize. It was both familiar and foreign. We got lost in the history of the British Museum and were awed by the cavernous ceilings of Westminster Abbey. For a moment we were wizards on our way to Hogwarts and we were Austen characters having tea. The bookshops pulled us in one by one. The art astonished us.
Over the three months, the city became our harbor as we ferried out to a new destination each weekend, always spending hours in-between at London’s various train stations and airports. My jackets are still littered with useless tube maps and tickets. Yesterday I found a few pence in my backpack. Proof that the trip was not a dream.