14 January, 2014


Paris got a post, and London deserves one, too. Even though it's been more than a week since I walked those streets, it's better late than never.

While London has never been a city of my dreams, I was curious to see what it's like, especially as quite a few of my friends been mesmerised by the place. I'm not going to lie: I'm not one of them. I neither loved nor hated London. But I do feel that a day couldn't do it justice and I'm looking forward to a longer visit. Also, even after a day, I imagine I'd like living there at least briefly, and it would be a totally different experience to simply being a tourist.

Overall, I'd say that London reminded me of Glasgow quite a lot. At times it just felt as simply a bigger, more beautiful (can't really argue with that, as much as I love Glasgow), and posher version of it.

I did have a moment though, when my opinion on the city changed from "meh" to "this is actually nice". And it wasn't some major tourist attraction that did it, even though I visited quite a few of them, no. I was just having lunch in Piccadilly Pret, and watching people pass by through the window. As always, creating stories in my head about where they're coming from and where they're going, who they are and what they believe to be important in their lives.

One of my favourite places must have actually been... a bookshop. I wanted to buy a book for A, and went to Waterstones in Piccadilly, which, from what I've read now, is the largest bookshop in Europe. Anyone who adores books as much as I do would understand the feeling that takes over when you're there, surrounded by thousands of them. I wanted to never leave, and, of course, was too tempted to not get anything for myself.

I also loved the National Gallery, even though I've only seen about a half of their collection. Van Gogh, Monet, Turner, Renoir, Degas... It was brilliant, and somehow I even enjoyed it better than the Louvre back in Paris (though this might be thanks to the fact I wasn't nearly as tired, knew what I wanted to see instead of just wandering around, and the whole collection wasn't as overwhelming).

I didn't like the British Museum nearly as much, sadly. While I can appreciate how all these exhibits showcase human history and culture, half an hour in, I was nothing but bored. Guess you can't just like all the places...

Next time I'm in London, it will be different. I've now seen it from the London Eye (which is as touristy as it gets... and not worth it, at all), visited King's Cross just for the Platform 9¾ (and although I grew up with the Harry Potter books, wasn't too impressed), and will be able to enjoy more earthy activities... or just pay a visit to the Tate.

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