When planning my first visit to London, I was advised to take a black taxi to our hotel upon arriving at Heathrow.
"It will cost you a bit, but not having to deal with the tube is so worth it."
I'm so glad I took that advice. I was tired from the flight and didn't need the hassle of trying to be alert in a city I didn't yet understand. Besides, black taxis are an icon. An experience. My first adventure in London!
Did you know that all cabbies go through rigorous training to drive us around the streets of London?
The training is called The Knowledge.
It takes drivers nearly three years...yep three...to learn how to navigate the confusing roads.
The drivers have to memorize streets and hotels and attractions. MEMORIZE. No GPS for these cabbies. Isn't that impressive? I think so.
I will only use black taxis in England. It's all part of the experience of taking a holiday across the pond. Ubers and mini cab drivers exist, but I know how hard it was for the cabbies to get their license. They know the way and will never get lost.
Oh, and the sound of the diesel engine in the black taxi still echos in my mind. It's a beautiful kind of rumble. One I will never forget.