9 July 2013
Perhaps more than anyplace else thus far visited, London is truly a world city. Just walking down the street and I find myself amazed at the diversity, from food to language to businesses to people. And yes, plenty of activities exist between theatre and museums; local pubs to culinary exploration. Even just relaxing outside in the gorgeous summer weather is delightful.
Arriving just in time for my twenty-sixth birthday, the city was excellent. Once again I could comprehend and understand those around me—excepting the accent and small bits of slang. I was constantly full from all the varieties of food, everything from fish and chips (absolutely the best from a true “chipper”) to Turkish kebabs to Indian curries and more. The food and drink was made better only with some lovely company, seeing friends now moved to London (or back in their hometown). Sarah, Grace and I explored an incredible amount in such a short time—Westminster Abbey and British Museum being some of my favorites. It’s hard to describe how much we ran all over the city, sometimes taking a few hours to relax in the park or perusing bookstores before jumping once again onto the Underground in search of another neighborhood. Even with ten days, plenty remains for next time.
Another delight was a short trip to Cambridge via rail, both to see the renowned university town and to escape the chaos of the city. Even looking out upon the English countryside made me wish I had more time to spend here, rolling hills and plenty of greenery. Just an hour or so beyond London, Cambridge itself was full of local pubs and quiet spaces.
Everywhere in London is full of history. From traditions like the changing-of-the-guard at Buckingham Palace to the numerous monuments and memorials scattered throughout the city, I was constantly in awe. Often I found myself corrected, constantly re-learning facts and figures and dates from western history. In much the way places like Tokyo or Nepal have made me realize how I am but one individual in this world, London expands that across the spectrum of history—both humbling and inspiring as I walk past those tombs of the great poets buried at Westminster Abbey.
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