Europe Travel Tales

London through my eyes

And hopefully some inspiration for yours.

Over the last few years I’ve often gotten the vague feeling that so many Australians have visited London, UK, that it has lost a little bit of the magic normally surrounding a tourist destination in a land far, far away.

I may, of course, be wrong on this impression. In any case, I myself tend to be snobby towards the big city thinking “London? I’ve been to London, I’d rather go somewhere less visited this time”. It’s true that it’s really busy. It’s also true that you may like to invest in visiting a “not-so-standard place” (whatever that means also it sounds very arrogant).

But who the hell are we all kidding? If I’m being honest I think that London has incredible parts to it and can be an absolutely amazing place to wonder round. Plenty of magic there, I tell you, and it ain’t just where you can supposedly visit Platform 9¾. I was charmed by the beauty of the city in the heart of winter, albeit the cold kicking my butt. I love that London truly is a multicultural society. I love the theatre performances and musicals. I love the architecture of many neighbourhoods. I love the history. I love them British accents more than I’d like to admit.

So here’s a selection of my favourite shots from the city that you must visit at least once in your lifetime.

Hyde Park

This photo was taken minutes before I gloriously smashed myself against the concrete – which was a very funny site for everyone around.

It was a chilly, sunny morning when we visited Hyde Park and I fell in love instantly. The are trees, the green colour everywhere, the freedom of it all, in a city where nearly 9 million people try to comfortably breathe from the same air. I recommend renting one of the city council bicycles as the best way to tour and see Hyde Park.

Museums

Exploring the Tower of London. For some reason my hair looks red in this photo. The Tower of London, with its significant and spooky history, is one of four World Heritage Sites that can be found in London and is definitely worth a stroll. If you like shinny things, here you can ogle at the Royal Family’s most fascinating jewels.

I love the V&A (Victoria and Albert) Museum. When I visited the museum in 2017 there was an exhibition on dedicated to… underwear. The dress in the right photo was famously worn by Kate Moss in 1993 as seen in this photo with Naomie Capbell: https://images.app.goo.gl/p1kcSxJ6Xm2FcpUQ6

The British Museum showcases a wide variety of artefacts, representing different eras and parts of the world. There’s incredible pieces from Greek and Roman history, from the Middle East and form Egypt to name a few. What really stayed with me are the Parthenon marbles, some of the Easter Island statues and some of the Egyptian mummies.

The National Gallery is also wonderful to visit. I spent hours in there just gazing at all the incredible art, however photography is prohibited.

There is a huge wealth of Ancient Greek artefacts, marbles, even part of the the top section of the famous Parthenon in the Acropolis can be found in the British Museum.These marbles and artefacts belong in one place and that is Greece. Bring. Them. Back.

Walkabouts

Oh the Architecture of London. So variable, so beautiful. One could spend days exploring the different neighbourhoods and sections of the wider city and still you’d miss sites worth seeing. Naturally, buildings that make famous tourist sites are the most visited.

Busy, busy, busy city.

Harrods in all its glory. Apparently the Queen does her shopping here.

World famous landmarks against London’s signature gloomy, grey, dark weather.

There’s definitely a hippie culture in parts of London. If you walk around Portobello Road and Portobello Market, for example, you’ll see various vintage shops and shops whose exterior and interior look like the shop jumped out of the 70s hippie scene.

Is it worth waiting in the cue for about an hour to get on the Eye of London? I think not. But it’s cool to see either way.

Waters

Take time to stroll along the river Thames as well as other waterways in the city. Around sunset is a great time to do so because all the colours and reflections mix together beautifully and there’s usually more warm sunlight.

Moments

Poser move of my London adventures: Having a traditional high-tea in a very central part of the city. Believe me, freshly made, warm scones with fresh cream and jam is HEAVEN in the mouth.

Authentic Colombian food at Camden Market. One of the lesser visited markets which I absolutely recommend that you visit.

Growing up in Greece, you hear about London a lot. You hear about people who can afford to go there for tourism and you hear about people who do their best to send their children off to the northern place to educate them. Nowadays all you mostly hear about around the world in relation to London is -no surprises- Brexit.

Ignore what you hear and what you have heard about London. Go and explore it on your own. Make up your mind about it once you explore the museums, the parks, the quirky neighbourhoods and the people. I would certainly go back in a heartbeat.

 

M xx

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