Our London Scenes - Part 1
London....where do you even start?
Two thousand years of near continuous habitation, notwithstanding wars, plagues and great fires. It is now home to over 8 million people, as well as the Queen, Dickens, Sherlock Holmes, the Underground, Diana, one-quarter of the Premier League, Henry VIII (and presumably Henries 1 through 7), Big Ben, the Thames, the London Eye.....
And although it is not the biggest city that we've visited, it is certainly the best-documented (e.g. see the Mapping London site for a great selection of infographics and maps). And of course, all the signs are in English, so we really have no excuse for getting lost.
London is also and chock-a-block full of museums, galleries, parks, historical sites, restaurants, pubs and coffee shops.....There is so much to see and do here. To quote the ever-quotable Samuel Johnson,
"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."
(Which is rather odd, because in our short experience, London is anything but affordable! But who am I to argue with the second most-quoted person in the English language?).
Some Rooms of Our Own
We got off to a great start thanks to our hosts, Isabel and Heather, who met us at London Bridge and gave us a crash course in navigating the Underground and Light Rail network. They then graciously allowed us to sit on their house in Lewisham, where we enjoyed their extensive library of books about all things Londonesque, as well as the complete Harry Potter collection (again!).
We're now flat-sitting for another friend, Colin, in the North-West postal code. It's been great to have a place to cook, do laundry and plot out our next expedition. (Thanks again, everyone!).
You Are "Now"
As a recovering INTJ, I always like getting the "big picture" of a city's geography and history before we start exploring. So one of our first visits was to the Museum of London to learn the story of how a small town grew, faded, grew, grew, got infested, burnt, was fought over, grew, grew, got bombed, grew, got bombed even worse this time, never surrendered, prevailed, declined, swung, rioted, recovered, became the capital of late capitalism, grew again and hosted the Olympics. That pretty much sums up all you need to know, but if you'd like a visual, check out this timeline of London's more "recent" (i.e. post-1000) history.
We're happy to add a small part to that story. Below is a first instalment of pictures so far. Please click on each thumbnail to see it in the full screen mode. More to come another day. Cheers! dh