No, I am not watching baseball, nor is there bowling involved.
I flew into London today and we got our bags and headed to the London Underground to ride into the city and find our hostel. We were quickly greeted by a locked gate and a large sign that said some of the Transit workers had gone on strike the night before. There would be no subway trains. Seeing as how the only directions we had to our hostel were by the Tube, we were in trouble. A man at the help desk laughed at us when we asked if there really were not going to be trains, but he very kindly wrote specific instructions on how to get into the city by bus. We had to change several times and take a portion by above ground train, but we finally made it.
Apparently the strike has caught all of London by surprise and the newspapers here all had front page stories about the nightmare of a morning commute people here had. You cannot find a bus that isn't squeexed beyond maximum capacity because there is no other way to get around the city. It is pretty crazy.
Bearing this in mind, we were worried about getting to the English national soccer game tonight. We worked wth a girl at the hostel to find a route that ivolved us walking to an undeground station about 20 minutes away. (Apparently, there are a few trains still running despite the strike, but they are few and very far between and the wait times can be very long). We set out and after about 20 minutes, we came up to the underground station entrance only to find it closed and locked up. Right as I was about to lose faith and figure we would never make it, or have to pay hundreds for a cab ride, a bus driver comes out of his parked bus and announces that he is taking people to Wimbley Stadium (this was not a scheduled route and apparently, the guy just did it). We jumped on that bus and felt very lucky as we passed literally hundreds of people waiting on buses to take them back home.
We finally made it to Wembley stadium and got to our seats. They were right near one of the goals on the lower level and we had a perfect view of the field. The stadium was quite impressive. (Pictures will follow, I am still trying to figure out how to get them off my camera and onto public computers). Englad trounced Andorra 6-0 and it was an exciting game to watch with all of the goal scoring.
Once the game ended, we figured we were out of luck in finding our way home unless there was another charitable bus driver. As we left the stadium, we followed the crowd to see where they were all going. Turns out, there was one train that was going back into central London and we were able to catch it and get somewhat close to our hostel.
It seemed as if today was just our day until we got back to the hostel. We walked into the room and There were 5 beds taken. The problem is that both of us were supposed to be sleeping there. I figured it was some mistake and the hostel could fix it, but as it turns out the hostel has no record of us having a reservation for tonight. I showed the guy at the front desk my reciept and the email confirmation I had printed out, but it didnt matter. Apparenty when we checked in the person that did it allowed us to check into a room that was already booked up. I really don't know how it happened, but this mistake is definately not my fault.
So basically, even though I have already checked in and have stored my stuff in the room, I am homeless. The hostel is booked up and there is no availability in any of the hostels around. My only hope rests with one guy who may or may not show up. The guy at the front desk assures me he wont show up, but seeing as how he cannot figure out my reservation, I do not have much hope. Maybe I will be couch surfing tonight after all.
It was the perfect day...