“London Bridge is falling down, Falling down, Falling down, London Bridge is falling down, my fair lady!”
Made of cement and solidly built the London Bridge is in no danger of falling down currently. Fair lady or not, it is a sight to stand on while you’re in London. The London Bridge itself is not all that impressive, to me I think it was what it represented that was most striking. The whole London trip was surreal for me. I couldn’t even wrap my head around the fact that in two days time, my life had changed so much. From living in downtown Grand Rapids, to traveling abroad, and being in such a legendary and historic city. I could hardly believe my luck!
It was while strolling along the London bridge and watching the river Thames, glide beneath me that I really started to grasp that I was in a city like no other. The London Bridge also provides a wonderful backdrop for selfies and group photos because, you can see Tower Bridge in the background!
The hustle and bustle were so invigorating and London has no shortage of activities to do or sights to see! The two days was hardly enough time to see them all. I will however never forget the stunning might of Big Ben Tower, (fun fact it is actually often misspoken, it is actually titled the Tower of Big Ben because, Big Ben refers to the bell inside the Tower, so you never see Big Ben merely his tower), which looms above you till it seems to touch the sky- which is a nice way of saying you’re going to crane your neck a little to see the top or get a selfie with it.
Also the Shard, the tallest building in London, will be another one that boggles the mind and ensnares the senses. While I was there they were having the Shard’s windows washed (ahhh!), and seeing the tiny little ants of people in these precarious looking baskets washing windows made me queasy. It was still a cool piece of architecture, which the city has no shortage of! London for me was such a beautiful example of how the old meets new. The transitions were always so shocking and seamless. There would be a massive stone century old building literally, right alongside this towering sleek modern building. And instead of looking like a mess it all just seemed to flow. For London, this hodge-podge architecture worked in its favor. It kept one foot solidly grounded in its passed in buildings such as the National Bank, and then with the other foot it raced to the future full force with such modern buildings as the Gherkin.
While in London, I had the immense opportunity to see such sights as, the Tower of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The Eye, Trafalgar’s Square, St. Paul’s Cathedral, The National Museum of History, and The National Gallery! It was at once both overwhelming and exciting. I regret no harried moment racing for a taxi cab to see the next thing. Nor the quiet strolls down alleys that tourists do not frequent. I do not have as many pictures of these. Like every good secret, once shared, it is no longer the same. I will carry those streets with me in my memory. The cheery flags that waved above and the flower boxes that greeted me warmly at the door, will always be in my heart. With thoughts of cozy pubs, twisting alleys, and every cliché tourist location buzzing now about your brain I have to tell you this –I don’t think that London can be done in two days and, I absolutely cannot wait for a return journey to a city that provided me excellent opportunities: to try new foods (this is chicken curry–try it!), meet new people and see sights beyond my dreams.
To those of you who lust for travel I hope that my trip to London inspires you to get out and see the world. Even if it is is only for two days there is a lot to do and remember we can always come back. As Ben Aaronovitch states:
“My Dad says that being a Londoner has nothing to do with where you’re born. He says that there are people who get off a jumbo jet at Heathrow, go through immigration waving any kind of passport, hop on the tube and by the time the train’s pulled into Piccadilly Circus they’ve become a Londoner.” ― Moon Over Soho