So much to do in London – it’s exciting! So much to do – it can be overwhelming. Where to start?
After spending a rainy morning poring over Time Out (I don’t know why Time Out can’t just give you a list of what’s on by date. Really – how hard can it be?) – I was more confused than ever. When the sun came out after lunch (notice I’m getting British already – talking about the weather), I decided to do what is always important to do in a crisis: go and find a book shop and a good coffee.
I wandered down to London Bridge (about 10 mins from home), where I had a vague idea that a book shop might be lurking. Hoorah! Found one, and as fate would have it, right near the door was a copy of Lonely Planet London. Ah – Lonely Planet my old friend, where have I been without you?
Round the corner I wandered into this;
found a nice cafe, and settled down with my Lonely Planet. Just opening it made me excited. After perusing it for a while, I decide that I have a new mission: to see if I can tick off everything listed in the Lonely Planet to do in London. Quite an ask – oh but it will be fun!
With a nice full belly, and the sun now shining in full, a walk along the Thames was in order. This is the view that greeted me as I walked outside:
The modern London. You can guess which one is nick named the Walkie-Talkie, and which one the Gherkin.
From here I crossed the road at London Bridge, went beside Borough Market (to be explored another day), to Southwark Cathedral.
Southwark Cathedral is the oldest cathedral church building in London (wow!). I’m guessing that would be because it is on the south side of the river, and escaped The Great Fire (but don’t quote me on this). Archaeological evidence shows there was Roman pagan worship here well before that. Some believe there was a church here as early as AD 606.
I loved that the courtyard was filled with young people eating food they had bought at the market next door, relaxing with a cigarette (or if they were cool hipsters, an e-cigarette).
I ducked in to check it out. Wow – awesome stuff. I didn’t have any cash on me for the photo permit, so no photos to show you here. I saw Chaucer’s window, dedicated to pilgrims aka Canterbury Tales. William Shakespeare’s brother is buried there as well. There is a lot of wood inside – and it made me wonder if this is what the old St Paul’s might have been like. Oldest wooden effigy of a knight – unknown identity. Was quite moving and beautiful. Truly beautiful place. Will definitely be heading back to explore some more, and maybe check out a choral performance or two.
I followed my feet, and within a few hundred metres found The Golden Hinde. Evidently Sir Francis Drake completed the second-ever circumnavigation of the world between 1577-80 in this galleon ship.
You can do tours – another thing to add to the list. I couldn’t concentrate on the ship because I was distracted by some cool loud music nearby. I had to go and check it out.
Was great music actually. Playing right beside the ruins of Winchester Palace, one of the largest and most important buildings of medieval London.
Wandered some more…
And finally came out by Southwark Bridge.
I say finally, but this whole walk (slow wander really) took me about an hour. Every inch of this city has a story to tell. I’m not sure if I crossed anything off my list, or just added to it.