The boat was slowly making is way in the river, getting closer every minute to the mythical city of London. The dry cold of the English Channel and cloudy weather of the United Kingdom made us even more eager to arrive to destination. Different docks and even bridges opened up for us. We finally docked inside London. What could have been better?
Having five days to visit a place filled with art, culture, history and good food by ourselves was making everybody incredibly happy. It is so cool to be able to travel with your friends, especially in a place with so many options and opportunities opened to us. We can go out to the movies, Harry Potter fans can watch the famous play The Cursed Child, or we can simply roam around in the street where the great people of this world walked.
The streets were crowded with thousands of people from all over the world; politicians, workers, students, and tourists. I could hear many different languages like German, French, Mandarin, and Polish. This great diversity, characteristic of London, pleased us especially because of the amazing food. In Chinatown, I enjoyed a good dish of fried noodles. I did not dislike the fact that London is known for having the best Indian Food in the world either. Moreover, I drank as much coffee as I could. I really missed good coffee on the boat and the smell of fresh coffee is my favourite smell in the world.
While visiting the British Museum, I got amazed thinking of all the history behind each artefact. I saw Egyptian statues that were built thousands of years ago by great Pharaohs and a three meters long painting filled with meticulous details. I continued walking and saw hundreds of art pieces, statues, sculptures, paintings, drawings, and watercolours. The best part in all of this was that it represented only a small portion of London’s art collection. I could still spend days in that museum, and admire and understand new things. Just a corner away from the British Museum, I entered a small art gallery founded in the late 1930’s. This old apartment building was filled with bright light and diverse art styles such as impressionist paintings and watercolours. There was one particular art piece that stood out to me. This painting portrayed a grey, stormy sea with a small sail boat heeling dangerously. Because of this year of sailing and going through all these storms and hard weather, I could not only see the painting, I could feel it.
I also visited the famous Camden market. It is an old stable turned into a huge market filled with cafes, food trucks, thrift shops, and bookstores. Basically, everything I like reunited in one place. I lost myself in the small alleys, meeting friendly store owners. I even discovered a small tea shop hidden in the back of a cute second-hand bookstore. The small room was filled with colourful vintage sofas, old paintings and pictures, and ancient wooden tables. I was served a scone with the traditional cream and jam with a cup of English tea in an old porcelain tea cup. In addition, during that day, the sun had decided to finally come out! A sunny day in London just for us! We laid down lazily in parks around London. The flowers were starting to come out. Just lying on the solid ground after weeks at sea was a treat in itself.
I think that what I liked the most of this city is that you don’t even have to enter a museum to learn. While wandering around in the city, I admired the 16th century architecture of a beautiful cathedral and an apartment building built during the art deco movement. Then, I saw a huge ultra-modern skyscraper. A few buildings away there was an old distinguish tea shop. With a bunch of friends, we walked along side of the Canal admiring both sides. I remember all the movies and TV shows like Harry Potter or Love Actually that took place in London. I remember how envious I was to walk in this beautiful city.
I did, as a good tourist, go see the Buckingham Palace to give my respect to the Queen. I admired the famous guards with their funny hats walking back and forth endlessly. It seemed really strange from my perspective. They just spend all day seeing thousands and thousands of tourists taking pictures of them all day long, fascinated.
To London, I am not saying good-bye but see you later. We shall meet again.