A day in London
Updated: Nov 14
Ah, London. What a fascinating city! It seems to capture so many people's dreams...As a teenager growing up in Europe, it was THE city to strive for if you wanted to go to university and live an exciting student life. As a young adult living in Australia, it is THE city to move to for career advancement and as a travel base. It almost seems to be an essential station to hop off the train of life before continuing on this long railway... / like a mandatory pilgrimage
I can't say I resisted myself, as I lived in England for a year while finishing my university degree. Alas, I was not in London, but I still got to taste that exciting city life on the few occasions I trained down there. Of course, any occasion is good enough to return. I have stopped counting the number of times I have set foot on the famous Trafalgar Square, but I have to say, every time I visit, I still feel in awe of this majestic city.
Even during the global pandemic, London managed to remain in everyone's minds. Through the (awesome) Netflix series "The Crown", I think that my interest and fascination have been renewed. Because let's be honest, what truly captures everyone's imagination is not the local weather...but in my opinion, the British Monarchy certainly sparks curiosity.
The number of tourists who gather around the gates of Buckingham Palace still astonishes me. One almost has to elbow their way through to get a good peek at the Royal Residence, such are the crowds. In saying that, I think I have rarely stayed in London and not gone there. I suppose such a long-standing and heavily mediatised Monarchy, a regime that is perhaps not the most common anymore, still instils a lot of curiosity.
Many other monuments around London are tied to the Royal Family, many of which are also some of the city's top tourist attractions. Kensington Palace, the birthplace of Queen Victoria and the official residence of the Prince and Princess of Wales, can be visited by the general public; Visitors are invited to walk through royal apartments and gardens, as well as admire some of Queen Victoria's jewels. Further out, Windsor Castle has been the home of British Royalty for almost 1000 years, and is open to the public; It houses St George's Chapel, where Harry and Meghan got married in 2018. A more ancient and infamous site is the Tower of London: a fascinating time travelling experience through some darker and more unconventional times...
There are also many religious monuments closely associated with the British Monarchy. Most notably Westminster Abbey, where Royal weddings, coronations and funerals usually take place. St Paul's Cathedral is also a place of importance, being the wedding stage for then Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
Of course, many more sites have a tie-in with the Monarchy, but to list them would be quite a feat. Besides, London has so much more to offer! There is no shortage of Art: from the British Museum to the Tate Modern, and from the Royal Opera House to West End. There is always something to do.
My guilty pleasure is having a pub dinner followed by a show. England may not be well-known for its cuisine, but the country does have a great pub culture, with ales on tap and comfort food, what more does one need? A digestive walk into the West End will lead one to a buzzing world of lights and music. I like going to a place called "TKT" where last-minute tickets can be purchased and see where the night takes me.