Numerous articles have been published regarding London’s popularity. Some call it the most visited city in the world – the best for historical attractions, art, shopping and parks. No doubt, there are numerous reasons people flock here, each enticed for different reasons. I’ve had my share of afternoons in London over the years (especially in the past few months) and each time, I am increasingly drawn-in to its beauty, history and charm. We picked a good time to move here. After the Olympics and Queen’s Jubilee, the city is sparkling. I heard that hundreds of statues, monuments and historical buildings have been restored and polished – this renowned city has never looked better!
Before the girls finished school for the summer (school goes long here!), I took the train in. The train took 25 minutes and I arrived at Waterloo while the air was crisp and commuters were still grabbing coffee and newspapers. Steps from the station, shops and restaurants, just having opened for the day, were deserted and London’s most iconic landmarks popped into view.
I thought I might hit a museum, which is something I can’t easily do with kids, but it was a beautiful day, so I just walked. I walked and walked (also something I can’t easily do with kids). I wandered through delightful alleyways, dipping into small shops and eventually grabbing an iced coffee and strolling through St. James’s Park, in possibly the most relaxed state that anyone has ever toured London. This is now my home – I was soaking it up and we were getting acquainted on a new level.
Lots of people have these fold-up bikes here. They are the only bikes that are allowed on trains without any restrictions. The determination to make London more bike-friendly can be felt strongly throughout the city. Unfortunately, coming from Copenhagen, the outcomes seem nominal at best (if not scary). I actually considered hiring a Barclays bike for the afternoon, but I didn’t have a helmet with me, which in turn felt something not far from suicide.
This English summer could be described as “a scorcher”. This was perhaps one of the hottest days of the year and by 1pm the air was thick and humid and the streets were crawling with tourists. By 2pm I was back on the train and made it home with plenty of time before the girls finished their school day.
See you soon, London!