FAR AND AWAY: A GUIDE TO SANFORD & LONDON
CHRISTINA GRACE BEVERY
It Wasn’t Until a few years ago that I realized one could travel to Europe from Sanford. The keyword here is: international. Aside from offering many flights to domestic destinations, you can fly to Amsterdam, Paris, London, Stockholm, and more from the Sanford International
tea-drinking, Union flag-wearing, Doctor-Who-nut. English writer, Samuel Johnson once said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” And I can tell you that my experiences have proved it to be true. I was able to convince my husband a wonderful and easily bribed man to
“If you look up ‘convenience’ in the dictionary it will have a picture of SFB and the zero wait time at security.”
I first visited London by way of Sanford in 2011 and really didn’t know what to expect. We only spent a couple of days in the city, but that’s all it took for me to become a full blown Anglophile (one who admires England, its people, and its culture). I became a BBC-watching, tea-drinking, Union flag-wearing, Doctor-Who-nut.
English writer, Samuel Johnson once said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” And I can tell you that my experiences have proved it to be true. I was able to convince my husband a wonderful and easily bribed man to take me back in September of last year. For both trips across the pond we flew out of SFB on Icelandair. I’ll tell you now that if you look up “convenience” in the dictionary, it will have a picture of SFB and the zero wait time at security. We left the house, arrived at the airport in 5 minutes, and about 10 minutes later we were checked in and enjoying a beverage just before our flight.
On both of our visits to London, we checked off many of the popular tourist sights. On your first visit, I would recommend hopping on one of the tour buses to get a good feel for the layout of the city. The London Eye is also a wonderful way to get a bird’s eye view of the vastness of London and the river it sits on the River Thames. From this mega Ferris wheel, you’ll get an unforgettable perspective of more than 55 of London’s most famous landmarks.
“When A Man Is Tired Of Sanford, He Is Tired Of Life; For There Is In Sanford All That Life Can Afford.”
The parks and gardens are another sight to behold. Near Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Park is the oldest of the Royal Parks it’s also one of my favorites. Once you find your way into one of many fabulous parks in London, you’ll think you’ve been transported to the countryside.
One of the things that impressed me the most about London is its diversity. So many people from various backgrounds around the world have congregated in London. Sanford is quite a bit like that; and you can see its historic influences still prevalent today in old pubs, Belgian beer bars, and German cafés. Its beautiful brick paved roads and its elegant historic homes are also reminiscent of a grand, thriving southern culture with many cultural ties.
Every now and then I get a sense of London here in Sanford. A pint at The Quiet Man Irish Pub, the sound of the bells at All Souls Catholic Church, the coziness of The Imperial at Washburn Imports, the eclectic Food Truck Bazaars, and the Lynx bus cruising down First Street at night it all makes me grin and reminds me of my time across the pond. Like London, Sanford has its secrets and sordid history too. And Sanford, like London, is a beautiful, energetic place where old and new have co-existed for quite some time. You know, I don’t think it would be too far-fetched to change Mr. Johnson’s quote a bit: “When a man is tired of Sanford, he is tired of life; for there is in Sanford all that life can afford.”
Christina Grace Beverly is a graphic designer who loves to travel and is especially passionate about London and anything British. She lives in Sanford with her husband, Nelson.
Miles To London: 4,319
Travel Time To London:
Approximately 10 hours
Where To Stay:
In London: Short stay? Check out Fuller’s Hotels and Inns (www.fullers.co.uk). Many of these affordable inns are adjacent to a Fuller’s pub. You can also rent a flat (the British word for apartment) at Fleet River Bakery. Reasonably priced, and right in the heart of London, fare includes decadent breakfasts made fresh from their very own kitchens.
In Sanford: Get a great feel for historic Sanford at the Higgins House Victorian Bed and Breakfast (http://www.higginshouse.com/)
What To See:
In London: Hyde Park and the Thames. Beautiful and wide sidewalks border the Thames on both sides and are used by joggers, bicyclists, street performers, book sellers, and lovers.
In Sanford: Lake Monroe and the Sanford Riverwalk boast lovely scenery. Fort Mellon Park is near the riverwalk and is also a really wonderful place to visit.
What To Eat:
In London: The diversity of London brings a diversity of food along with it. You’ll be tempted to try it all, and you should. But don’t overlook a meal and a pint at The Old Red Lion in South London. An old-fashioned oasis, you can access it from the Kennington Tube Station.
In Sanford: The Quiet Man Irish Pub and Eatery (105 West 2nd St). The Quiet Man serves perfect pints, pub grub, and live Irish music every Thursday evening.
Did You Know?
When you travel from North America to Europe on Icelandair, you can stopover in Iceland for up to 7 nights at no additional airfare. The New York Times named the Sanford International Airport among the 10 most competitively priced small airports. In 2013, SFB served served 2,033,620 passengers.