Thursday, August 2, 2012

Finally, London!

We are finally here. We made it! The Mark Twain Ringers arrived in London after a long trip.
Everybody was early at the airport, and most of the students and their families arrived before the scheduled time. For that reason, we had plenty of time to check in, and plenty of time to say goodbye to the family, parents and siblings, even when it was just for a few days. We could see some moving moments then.

We had to wait for a long time at the terminal in Los Angeles. Our flight departed with more than 90 minutes of delay. The students showed an exceptional behavior at the terminal, during the flights, in the bus, at all times! The flight to Toronto was packed, but it was the short one, and with the excitement of the day, we didn't feel tired when we arrived. Well, we better shouldn't, because we had a lot of chances of missing the connection, due to the delay of our first flight and we had to run: our flight to London was scheduled at 11:20 pm, and we landed at around 11:00 pm. The Mark Twain Ringers became then the Mark Twain Runners at the Toronto terminal: no stopping and no restroom, just running the endless aisles and stairs of the long connection at the airport. Missing that flight would have been disastrous, because we would have had to spend the night in Toronto and that would have messed our whole schedule. Ron Theile was kidding when we arrived just on time: "Now in the plane I think I'm going to need medical attention". We were the last ones!

The flight to  London was longer and darker (because we did it during the night); we didn't have the excitement of the first flight and we were tired from the run, so most of the students tried to listen to music, watched movies, or tried to sleep. And when they announced breakfast in the morning, we had just 90 minutes left. This time we were able to proceed calmly, go through customs, do the paperwork, claim our luggage, and meet our tour guide, who was waiting for us when we arrived. After another hour waiting for all the arrangements to be made, we got on the bus and headed to Canterbury, which is the city where the University of Kent is located.

We arrived safe and sound and here we are! Some students barely slept during the flights and they will need a couple of days to recover from the sleep loss and to adjust to the new time zone, but everyone is excited and happy, and looking forward to the activities and the performance that they will have tomorrow. Stay tuned!

(For the followers of the blog, please note that I will be able to post only in the evenings, when we return to our accommodations in Canterbury. However, you can follow us on Twitter, since it is possible to write short comments "borrowing" the signal of some open networks that we find on the streets).


  1. You are doing a great job keeping us posted. Thanks for the photos, too!
    I remember running like that in Chicago once. As long as you made it, I guess the exercise was good before a long time sitting.

  2. We were afraid of missing the connection, which would have meant staying overnight in Toronto and changing the whole schedule. That would have been a real problem.

  3. The students will never see the world the same after this experience. As Mark Twain said: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."