We were extraordinarily lucky. We had visited London over the Easter holidays and the weather was amazingly good. Cool, but not cold. Sunny, which meant it was perfect for long sightseeing tours and beautiful photos. And not a drop of rain in sight. We could walk and walk for hours—and we did—feasting our eyes and souls in experiencing one of the most beautiful cities in the world
True confession time. I loved England, and especially London, long before I saw it. I was a child who read a lot, and many, if not most, of the classics I read were set in England, and so I have wanted to visit this country for years, no, decades now. After all, it was where Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, George Eliot, Charles Dickens, and many other writers who had kept me company as a young child had lived and written their beloved stories.
And London, thankfully, put on its best clothes and manner to greet me. I was sad to leave, and had actually lost a little part of my heart to London a little bit more when we went home.
London was also the first city that I visited where I felt that I didn’t have to go inside a museum—walking around its streets already felt like I was in a museum, because of the amazing architecture and design in its houses, churches, buildings, bridges, parks, and other public areas. I came to recognize this in the cities I later saw in France, Germany and Italy as well, but London was the first. It has such a deeply imbedded sense of history, and I could not help but wander about in awe and gratefulness as we walked around.
Another lovely thing about being in London in the spring is that flowers were blooming everywhere! From tulips, begonias, pansies and other colorful blossoms on the ground, to the trees bursting with white and pink leaves and flowers, the city was a sight to behold.
Statues of historical figures also abound. At Parliament Square alone, we got to see such legendary folk as Nelson Mandela, the Earl of Derby, and of course, Winston Churchill in his famous pose—although my youngest nephew said he thought the statue was of Groo from Despicable Me.
Last, but not least, of course, are the iconic symbols that people have come to identify with London all over the world. Of course we saw Big Ben, which is the great bell of the clock tower at the north end of Westminster Palace—more majestic in person than we had ever dreamed; the London Eye, that ginormous ferris wheel on the south bank of the Thames river; red telephone boxes everywhere, beefeaters in their tall hats, also known as the Queen’s special guard; and, at Trafalgar Square, the unbelievable and surreal huge deep blue chicken, as well as the giant bronze lions that guard Nelson’s column.
Walking around London on a gorgeous spring day is like going on a treasure hunt—so many wonderful surprises await you!