From the time I was a child, there was no better place to see, in my mind, than London. Throughout the years I had heard stories about Jack the Ripper, seen movies like ‘An American Werewolf in London’, read books such as ‘Oliver Twist’, and fantasized about the beauty of the River Thames in winter.Other than having a slight interest in the macabre, I was absolutely fascinated by the city of London. So, when the time came for a winter vacation escape, I had no choice but to book a ticket to the place that so frequented my childhood dreams. As with most of my decisions, my inner voice and natural intuition did not steer me wrong.
The first of many experiences that I was able to indulge in was riding the tube. Similar to the subways of New York City, I was always told that nobody made eye contact or talked. Thanks to my ‘specific’ look, I found this not to be the case. Almost immediately, I had people striking up conversations about my tattoos, or just staring in bewilderment. I suppose it is not as common to have style, coupled with face tattoos, as it is in San Diego.
Following my adventures on the Underground for the day, it was time to explore all of the landmarks that I had heard so much about in my youth. The first stop was (obviously) the River Thames, along with Big Ben and Parliament. Other than the huge group of drunken Kiwi tourists, it was a majestic sight to see. This also gave me the ability to see Buckingham Palace with a short walk, as well as the London Eye. I am not usually one that goes for the typical tourist sight-seeing, but when you have the ability to see four huge attractions in the matter of 15 minutes, you take it.
Other than the absolute stunning beauty of the well-known attractions, London has, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful architecture and art I have ever seen. Just walking around allowed me to see roads, bridges, and buildings that were hundreds of years old. Just being around them made me feel as if I was back in time. Beyond this, London hosts an expansive selection of museums. My short trip included Tate, Saatchi, Museum of London, Natural History Museum, and the British Museum. No matter what you are interested in learning more about, there is most likely a museum that has it.
Last, but definitely not least, the people in London have to be some of the nicest I have ever met. Not sure if it is the typical British personality, but they are a far cry from the majority of people in the U.S. I found Londoners to always be pleasant, gracious, kind, and welcoming. It is definitely a destination I will happily return to for many vacations to come.
Please share your experiences with London in the comments! I would love to hear more facts that I don’t know about.