London

Day #2: London

How many sights is too many sights to see in a day?

Well, I guess that it is up to multiple factors; stamina, desire and time.

Today I somehow walked over 15km to visit an array of incredible sights.

This morning I enjoyed a fresh stroll through Hyde Park. I fell absolutely in love. There is a unique contrast between the bustling Londoners on the outer streets and the morning joggers and tourists within the serene park. One thing that I will add is that the many joggers, bike riders and dog walkers in the park made me feel extremely guilty about my fitness regime, or lack there of.

After exiting Hyde Park I stumbled across Buckingham Palace by entering through Marble Arch. I loved viewing the neoclassical style of architecture up close, but I appreciated it even more from afar. When you view the Palace from afar you appreciate the tonal and textural contrast between the luscious, green gardens and the smooth, bath stone Palace.

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From here, I ventured to the stock standard tourist destinations including Trafalgar Square, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. I soon realised why they are labelled ‘do not miss’ as they were just as intriguing as people led on.

After a quick stop for coffee the exploration continued by crossing Westminster Bridge. Whilst this area is also labelled a ‘do not miss’ I didn’t have the same positive reaction I had for the sights I visited earlier in the morning. Along the bank of the River Thames, between the London Eye and Southbank Centre was flooded with school students lining up for bowling, McDonald’s and posing with Shrek at County Hall. I found that the tackiness of it all took away from the great detail and quality in the history of the area and the buildings.

Later in the afternoon I visited West End, M&M World, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. I really enjoyed visiting these sights due to the unique characteristics of this part of London.

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Whilst you may think that my day just sounds like I was on a Monopoly man-hunt, I found that I managed to appreciate and take in all the sights I experienced today. I believe this was because walking through London and navigating myself I was able to stumble across many unique side streets and buildings which added depth to my exploration of the city.

As this was my first full day of ‘sightseeing’ I would love to hear other methods of exploring a new city.

Love J
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