31 May – 07 June 2010 – Doesn’t time fly
My highlights from the city of London so far have been the simple things. Catching up with friends and family. My first Guinness in a London pub. Random meanderings through the city streets. The breadth of food and drink available. Lastly the parks, statues and impressive buildings you encounter on even short meanderings.
A good meander requires a lack of purpose, direction and time constraints; simply let your legs wonder freely and let your senses take in your surroundings. Eventually you will find yourself somewhere unexpected, often hopelessly lost with no sense of direction, but do not fear for in London you just need to keep walking; albeit in a straighter more conscious driven direction until you find a subway station.
Despite placing so much emphasis on random meanderings I have managed to bless some of London’s top sights with my presence.
London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben (2nd of June)
Tower of London, Tower Bridge (3rd of June)
I drew a blank on most of the sights, they are so famous and so well documented that I cannot think of anything interesting to write down that will describe the experience in a way that will be different to what you can assume from the photos. Hell, the sights are so well photographed that I almost didn’t even bother taking my own. However the Tower of London’s history is fascinating, to be standing in the same place where so many queens lost their heads! The stories are gripping tales of anguish, such as the sixteen year old bride who watched her husband’s body carried back headless in full knowledge that her head would follow in a matter of hours. The stories seem so many worlds away, hundreds of years behind us surely; but no, some of the history is actually relatively recent and anguish felt will be no different to that felt by today’s families in war torn countries.
[Crown Jewels - As expected - Jewellery, big, glittering, diamond, secure, safe, steel, no photographing]
Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guard (4th of June)
Imperial War Museum (7th of June)
On a practical note I arrived in London (31 May) with no plans as usual, I was somewhat surprised to learn that James had actually planned his arrival into London; his aunt Susan was meeting him at Heathrow. Susan generously offered me a lift and accommodation too. I immediately accepted and am very grateful for the base which made the above sightseeing and meanderings both simple and possible.