Today I did a lot of walking in Central London. I am sure I walked a full marathon getting there and back with some backtracking.
I walked to take some more pictures of parliament, Big Ben (the structure surrounding it is under construction) and the London Eye. Then up Parliament/Whitehall to Trafalgar Square. From there I hit up Leicester Square, Soho, Chinatown, Piccadilly Circus, and Covent Garden. I ended the day by returning to the National Gallery where I was more focused on seeing the art. When I was at the British Museum, I was so scared I was going to hit some priceless artifact and break it. Oh, the horror!
As I was taking pictures of Big Ben, parliament, and the London Eye from the Westminster Bridge, I think it really hit me. I am in London! I guess I am a few days late with the realization. Even though it is not the high summer tourist season, it’s still packed with tourists. I did hear that some countries (like Switzerland) are on a break right now.
One of my favorite statues is the one of Boadicea, who was a Celtic queen. I watched a movie about her life and was struck by her courage to go against the Roman invaders. Of course, her ending wasn’t happy, but she did leave the earth on her terms. I walked around Parliament Square then headed to Trafalgar.
I enjoyed walking around Chinatown. All the food smelled so good and the window displays looked so great! I need to hit up dim sum when I get home.
Both Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus were hopping. I know ultra touristy, but it seems like the tourists walking through it were having a good time and realizing, hey I am in London! I liked Soho. I don’t think I went there last trip. It has a good vibe. I was trying to think of what neighborhood in Seattle it reminded me of, but I came up blank. Maybe old-school Capitol Hill meets Fremont?
I had also not been to the Covent Garden area (or at least I have no memory). It was just as packed as Leicester and Piccadilly. It had a good vibe. Some places were definitely pricier.
Oh. There are people picketing to do a re-vote on the Brexit referendum. It doesn’t seem like people were informed when they voted and now have voters’ remorse. I talked to one of the picketers on Monday. We commiserated together on the current respective political climates in our nations
When I was in the museum, I sat down by an older woman. Then another older couple joined us. Anyway, we started talking. My original neighbor, Marilyn, is from Toronto. Her husband passed away four years ago, but she travels with a friend who is also a widow because they travel well together. She is taking an 18-day transatlantic cruise in a few days back to North America. She said that she and her husband saved money to travel together, and she misses traveling with him, but she is still traveling. She has done quite a bit of traveling and told some interesting stories about traveling in South America in the 1960s and traveling to Morocco. In Morocco, people thought they were American and some of the men spit on her husband, who was 6’2”.
Sometimes I will ask older people if they could offer one piece of life advice what would it be. So, I asked Marilyn. She said to live in the moment and to enjoy where ever you are (in life) in your life. She said that she wished she had ignored the chores sometimes and just went on a walk with her husband or did other things together. She also said to remember that we come in with nothing and leave with nothing. Focus less on stuff and more on experiences. Her and the couple encouraged me to travel as much as I can. Marilyn said it’s the best form of education. And the church said, “Amen.”
It’s November 1, and it seems likes overnight Christmas decorations sprung up, though merchandise has been in the stores forever.