Oh, how could I have left Europe without stopping for a few days in the land of real duchesses and princes? Downton Abbey and Earl Grey tea? Cricket and Fish&Chips? Beatlemania and One Direction? There was no way I was going to turn down my friend Lady Marianna’s offer to stay at her fabulous Georgian house just a few doors down from Charles Dickens’ own pad in central London before heading back to the States. So, there I was driving in a spacious black taxi by Buckingham Palace towards my new neighborhood for the next 6 days and thinking to myself, why did it take so long to come back?? London is such a glorious town that like Paris, Audrey Hepburn would say, “It’s always a good idea!!” I’m determined not to let another 14 years go by, that’s for sure!
I found the familiar palaces and monuments (too many to cite them all) waiting in all their eternal splendor to be photographed, touched and walked on but also many newcomers (the London Eye, the new Tate Modern Gallery to name a few) along with some new pop cultural entries (the most obvious one being Starbucks emerging at every corner just like a pubs appear at every corner.) Franchising aside, the city offers an array of cool new design stores, galleries, restaurants, bars and clubs that are amongst the best in the world.
All in all, London is people-friendly, easy to travel and not intimidating at all when it comes to public transportation; the ‘tube’ system is so straightforward, I find it impossible to get confused or lost (unlike New York.) Busses are also very organized with rides available every three minutes! Hello, Los Angeles?!!?!!
In terms of people, I find the Brits to be very polite, reserved and disciplined in general. Also, how can one not melt at the sophistication of their accent? Or perhaps, I should say..how could I not feel embarrassed every time I opened my mouth? I totally sounded like I just finished competing in a rodeo compared to them! LOL…And regarding the tourists, this is possibly the city with the highest amount of them, from all over the world and in large groups, like herds of Italians, Spaniards and Japanese to name a few. Amazing!
And the weather didn’t disappoint…it was pretty cold and rainy during my stay, but that’s okay because it was so refreshing and different from the always sunny California that I actually enjoyed it! When it rains, it’s mostly a sprinkle that stops and starts several times during the day, so you learn how to go with it and always carry a portable umbrella just in case.
I walked for miles and miles in awe staring at all the beauty, history and architecture and I left so enriched and more in love than ever with Europe and its majestic wonders.