Majestic. Vibrant. Imperial.
In every sense, London can be summed up in those three words. You enter London through one of the most chaotic but also grand scale international airports. It’s an overload of British accents ranging from Cockney to Manchester and a funny combination of Brirish as I coined it (British and Irish). It’s a working mess of double decker buses and black cabs with their partitions weaving in and out.
London is any big city lover’s dream. Noise. Rush. Excitement everywhere. For me, stepping out on the streets of London was like stepping out in Sydney. I was at home immediately. Granted, pedestrians are intense and road crossings don’t make that familiar buzz to let you know it’s safe to cross. But that being said, even in my jetlagged state, I was at home in a city so far from home.
London has mastered marbling the old and new. The historic and contemporary. Chanel, Dior, Sephora and H&M take residence in architectural masterpieces. Walking the streets is like being immersed in multiple periods of history at once.
I started my whirlwind romance with London at perhaps a fitting place. From the hotel situated in the heart of Mayfair, my family and I ventured towards Westminster, to look at the sights of London that make the city so exciting. We weaved our way between the graves of Newtown and the kings and queens of England to have our breath taken away by Westminster Abbey and Big Ben.
To this day, I still can’t comprehend how such architectural marvels were made all those centuries ago. When our buildings today barely stand the test of time, structures like Westminster abbey were built when health and safety didn’t exist, wars and plagues were rampant, and there was nothing holding onto the builders constructing high up into the sky.
I think having come from 27 hours of airports and aeroplanes, for us to have conquered Westminster and Tower hill, we did pretty well for our first day in London. After that, I’m not quite sure what went down, but all I remember is sleeping until 4:30am the next day.
On our second day in London, we were firstly treated to a wonderful brekkie buffet, which was greatly appreciated by all. We then decided to conquer the London tube and test out our touristic navigational skills to get to south Kensington. Our whole day was spent amongst various periods of history, weaving in and out of continents and countries by admiring their art, textiles and jewellery in the V&A museum. We then decided to change things up, take trips down memory lane to the fun side of science classes from school and immerse ourselved in the wonders of the natural world at the Natural History Museum.
For me, there’s nothing thaf can hold me back from taking a photo with a t-Rex, standing in a seismic room and walking amongst the weird and wonderful that inhabited and currently inhabit earth alongside us. It was a sensory overload, and I haven’t had so much fun in a museum in a very long time.
Day three in London was spent in oxford. A short coach ride landed us in the heart of oxford. We spent the day walking the streets of this beautiful university town. We walked the same streets that many of our traditional and contenporary artists, politicians and law makers have made. After ascending a tiny, twisted staircase to the top of a university chapel, we were greeted by some of the most amazing panoramic views of the colleges and surrounding suburbia of oxford. The whole experience in oxford was mind blowing. From the history to the architecture, the appeal of this gorgeous university town has stuck with me.
Finally (and regrettably) our last day in London arrived. After a leisurely breakfast, we decided to walk around Mayfair, Piccadilly and Trafalgar Square, take in the sights and have a relaxing morning before our afternoon departure to Paris. I tried champagne mangoes (which were absolutely divine), enjoyed the most beautiful gluten free pistachio cake with a cappuccino made so well it rivalled the coffee I drink in Sydney, and got to interact with local shop keepers and wander through the mazelike connection of alleyways.
I think it quite a perfect way to end my whirlwind romance. Our four days in London gave us a taste of what this marvellous city had to offer. And I can’t wait to come back so I can maybe drive out and explore the counties as well. I can’t wait to return to London. I hope I can come back soon because London really has stolen my heart.