This was another stop on my school’s whirlwind tour of Europe. I saw Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London with the crown jewels, visited Harrods, and rode a big red bus. I had really like the place, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you why. I was in and then out.
Over ten years later, I was back with my husband and son so that my husband could attend a conference. I did a lot of wandering with and without him. I used a little tourist book and explored. I went to museums, parks, shopping areas, saw monuments, rode a boat on the Thames, and ate lots of fast food. I was disappointed by both the Tate and the Tate modern, but we went twice to the British Museum. We tried doing the shopping thing, but Harrods was overwhelmingly crowded since it was it’s once a year sale season and Convent Gardens wasn’t open as early as I got there. We spent all day at the Tower of London which as great! Saw the changing of the guard, had a picnic in St James Park, attended church at St Paul’s Cathedral, and Evening song at Westminster Abbey. We walked by the Globe Theater, various monuments, the London Eye, palaces, the Naval Academy, Parliament, and so many other places.
What was my impression? BUSY. It was crowd, busy, masses of people everywhere. The city is huge. The Underground and trains were crowded to the point of being dangerous. I can’t say I love London or hate London. There is just a lot of London there. There is no “must see” places. You just go and see what you like.
I would probably visit again, but not to relax. It took weeks to recover from that trip for all of us!