The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

London Love

I was eight the first time I visited London. It was my first experience of a big city and, I admit, I was scared. The Underground, the endless screeching of police and ambulance sirens, the punk rockers with their crazy hairstyles (it was the late 70s, after all), the hectic pace, the crowds – it was a bit too much. London 184
But there is something about  London that I have loved for as far back as I can remember and that is its history and its memorable, albeit sometimes roguish, characters. The story of London is the story of England. From its Roman  beginnings to the present day, this city  has withstood plague, fire, civil war and the Blitz and each time it has come back more defiant than ever. London 355
There is much to discover in London – so much that it leaves me breathless – because a week is not enough to explore all the places that I want to see, but a week is all I have. So there I am, with all the other tourists, “seeing the sights” and despising myself just a little bit, because I know there is more to London than that. London 361
But, at the same time, I am drawn to the sights, I have to see them all again, because the last time I was there was in 1997 and that was too long ago. So I revisited them, pointing them out eagerly to my Mischief Maker, hoping to plant in him a seed of love for this great city. But in spite of the lack of time, I was lucky enough to have enough of it to discover new places, new things.
London 397
So between spending time at the British  Museum and Trafalgar Square; the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, we discovered Covent Garden and Notting Hill. We saw London from the Thames, we saw it from The Eye and we saw it from the top of double-decker buses. London 534
Despite the fact that I am not much of a city girl, this is one metropolis that never ceases to pique my curiosity. I have spent the last few weeks since returning home  trying desperately to understand its vibe. Because it has one,as all cities do, but it is not easy to define. London is traditional but occasionally outrageous; regal but ever so insouciant; irreverent, unabashed, diverse…London 390
Even its architecture is so varied that I am at a loss as to how to describe it best. Victorian with occasional medieval gems? Modern but interspersed with neo-classical beauties? It is constantly changing yet some things have remained the same. London 636
You can read about London in a hundred guide-books yet it is still able to shroud itself in mystery. Perhaps that is what makes it so attractive. Perhaps that is why it keeps luring me back.London 399
You may read about London’s history here or here.London 477
And if you’re in London and are at a loss what to do, here are some suggestions from the Telegraph: 100 of the best things to do in London.
London 544London 628
Until next time, ma belle …
Locations from top to bottom: the White Tower (Tower of London); Big Ben; Westminster Abbey; supporting columns of the old Blackfriar’s Bridge; the Houses of Parliament (Westminster Palace); the London Eye; Covent Garden market; the Shard and the Millennium Bridge; the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral; the London Aquarium; the Royal Albert Hall.

12 comments:

  1. Hello Loree

    I loved reading about your return visit to London and the enthusiasm in your voice as you return to familiar places and then the discovery of new neighbourhoods.
    Continued joy as the summer progresses

    Helen xx

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  2. 'So there I am, with all the other tourists, “seeing the sights” and despising myself just a little bit, because I know there is more to London than that.'

    :)

    Wonderful photos and intimate thoughts, Loree.

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  3. Beautiful photographs and post about your London. Thank you.
    I'm glad you had a good time.
    As I was reading I thought how some of what you write sounds like New York City (where I have been). As an onlooker, never have been to London, the comparison makes London feel more real for me.

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  4. Although I have been there 2 weeks ago, you make me homesick !

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  5. Loree - all your pictures are awesome. Your words make me want to take it all in. I had a cousin who spent a month over there with his wife and son. They loved it. Thanks for sharing this love of yours. Hope the Mischief Maker will appreciate this city the same as mother!

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  6. I'm glad you were able to see the sights and discover some new things as well. London looks and sounds fascinating!

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  7. I have never been there but you make it and it sounds fascinating and intriguing. The photos are fabulous, Loree.

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  8. I've always wanted to visit London, among other places. Thanks for sharing a bit of your travels with us - it's the next best thing to being there!

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  9. Beautiful photos! I was in London about eight years ago. Hopefully we'll visit next year.

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  10. These are some really beautiful shots, Loree. Sounds like a wonderful vacation!!

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  11. Great pictures Loree -- thank you for posting them. Love love love London :-))))

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  12. London is so high on my bucket list. I can't wait to visit there someday! :)

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