London is one of the oldest established cities in the world. Settled by the romans two millennia ago, it’s changed many many times, surviving plagues, being burnt down and bombed – it is evident that this city is old and new simultaneously.
Now let me be honest, London is one of those cities people go to have their gap year in (at least that is true for many Australians), and frankly I can see why. I was only there for short period during the summer of 2015, covering a lot of ground in the side streets and alley ways on foot and hurtling around the city on the tube below. My fellow traveller and I followed the crowds on a Buckingham Palace visit, the British Museum to see the mummies, The Tate Modern to see some of my art heroes, and even watched a play from the yard at the Shakespeare’s famous Globe Theatre. More obscure activities too, such as a visit back in time at Dennis Severs’ House and a creepy theatrical Ripper tour in the East End late one evening.
With paid activities aside, there are many excellent adventures to be had that cost you nothing but your time. Wandering along the canals through Little Venice, people watching at Notting Hills famous Portobello Road Market and Camden Lock (the home of Amy Winehouse!), free swing dancing on Sunday afternoon next to Spitalfields Markets, walking across the zebra crossing like a crazed Beatles fan at Abbey Road, discovering the big gorgeous fluffy bees in Regents Park and the Notting Hill Carnival; one of the most fun days my ears, eyes and taste buds has ever had (see my photos of Notting Hill Carnival here!).
There is so much going on and there is something for everyone in this great city. I loved the energy and vibrance that this city has to offer and you can take as much or as little as you want from it. Most people think that a city is just another city, but what makes it great is that you can be in the heart of the City of London on a famous red bus watching the business men and women power walking by, and the next enjoying a leisurely walk along a vibrant green canal to a small pub for a beer and listen to a man play his guitar. It’s great because no one will judge you for your choice of outfit or hair style. It’s a mishmash of old and new, big and small, a huge varieties of ethnicities from around the world, rich and poor, punks helping granny’s cross the road, fashionistas and fashion tragics. Proof that fitting into a mould isn’t as important as being able to learn to live along side one another.
That it is ok to be a variety of things for all people, because that is London, and that is what makes it great.