L is for London


Time for the next stop on the Eclectic Express! David returns to talk some about London.

If all roads lead to Rome, then perhaps all trains lead to London. Certainly the feeling you get if you travel around this city, as it’s hard to miss train stations, and harder to miss Underground stations…

Riding the Underground can be fascinating, as well, because it can get just so busy. So crowded. But still, you have everyone hanging on for dear life. Except once, I got on a train so full, and ended up in the middle of an area such that there was nowhere to hang on. And so, big ol’ backpack on, I coasted in the middle, buffered on all sides by the press of the crowd…

There are a lot of people in London because there are a lot of reasons to be in London. It’s one of the world’s metropolises, although a somewhat new one – so much of it having been built after the fire of 1666. Like the iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral.

St. Pauls and obligatory scaffolding, 2006

All told, I’ve spent about six months living in London, though disjointed between a few trips. And I tried to do a lot of the things that there are to do there. One was to travel around to the rest of England and Scotland, and I made it to a lot of places via train. But most of my time was spent in London proper.

There are museums and other historical collections. My personal favorite was the rare books display at the British Library, and my favorite rare book there – hidden amongst Shakespeare folios and Guttenburg Bibles – was a little journal kept by Lenin while he was hiding out in London. But with how many museums there are in London, I really did not hit nearly as many or as much as I could have.

Then there’s the shopping, which I did a good amount of as well. In particular I fell in love with a genre of British music and made sure to stock up while I could. But it was also fun to just go to the shopping district, to Oxford Circus, and just see the world there, shopping along with you. Oh, and I bought Earl Grey at Harrods, because I needed to buy something at Harrods, right? And Earl Grey is tea number 42, because of course it is…

And the shows! One must of course take advantage of the shows while in London. Some favorites include seeing Kevin Spacey as Richard III (in front row seats bought day-of), seeing Patrick Stewart’s one-man Christmas Carol (sitting on couch cushions behind the back row with tickets again bought day-of…), and seeing Avenue Q. I mention Avenue Q because there’s a part where they come out in the audience for donations, and I still had (otherwise useless) American money in my wallet and dropped some in – which made the actors up front laugh and call it out when they got it!

Also a good place to see other big name plays, like Wicked, Les Miserables, Chicago…

With all of that, I never even made it to Buckingham Palace to see the guards, some of the obvious things like that. There’s oh, so much to do there, and if you have the chance to go I would recommend it! But because there’s so much, don’t plan on seeing it all – I doubt most Londoners see it all either.

This post is by @CompGeeksDavid from Comparative Geeks, where he blogs with his wife and sister and other geeks. For now, find him on the Internet. Someday, find him in Edinburgh

2 thoughts on “L is for London”

  1. I love that: all trains lead to London! Sounds like a truly dreamy holiday. Kevin Spacey as Richard III, front row seats, me jealous! I have to admit Rome is still my favorite city but you’re right, theater in London definitely the best,and the underground is such an adventure to everything great and wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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