I came to London for the very first time on a day like this 10 years ago with my friend Andrea... It was part of a backpacking trip around some places in Europe, and we stayed for 3 days.
We arrived at night, took the train thinking we were going towards Victoria; but luckily a ticket inspector warned us we were going towards East Croydon and helped us find the right train and platform.
Once in Victoria, we were advised to take a bus terminating at Canada Water and from there walk to our hostel.
Turned out that finding "Salter Road" starting from Canada Water bus station was not that easy... We had to be at the hostel before 10:00 pm and it was like 9:40 by the time we arrived, and we were not able to make much sense out of the map. Finally, two lovely elderly ladies pointed us in the right direction and we started walking... Found Salter Road! Yay! Just a little more walking... and more walking... and more walking... The backpacks grew heavier, it was dark and cold... Salter Road felt more like Neverending Road, we were about to break down and cry when the tiny Hostel sign shone just a few steps in front of us. The gentleman at reception let us in despite the fact we were very late, and we went straight to bed.
The next morning, the first thing we saw when we looked out the window, was the same bus we took stopping right in front of the hostel...
That's London, it likes playing difficult to get and throwing tests of endurance at you randomly, just because it can. But at the same time keeps some lifesavers and survival kits handy for you. And you get frustrated, angry and want to leave it but at the same time you see all its great qualities and you think "is not THAT bad..." (another friend told me recently "is as if you were in an abusive relationship" ).
I never imagined I'd live here, and yet here I am. Happy anniversary, London!