Our trip to Europe in May this year, 2023, started in London. We heard so much about London that it was a must-go. We visited all continents. We enjoyed cities and nature around the globe but never the UK. Was it to be a disappointment, a blast, or something in between? I’m not too fond of those articles pushing readers to read it all for the conclusion, I will start with it. We liked London very much, both me and my wife.
Our hotel was near Paddington train station. We are Canadians of Romanian origin (actually, we have both citizenship), and I heard about occasions where beggars from Romania are a problem on the streets. How would people react to hearing us speaking Romanian? But as far as we could see, we were treated for what we were, with no preconception about the culture we might represent. It started with the hotel personnel being amicable, and all the places we visited were the same. And I must confess that I felt shame seeing people speaking Romanian on the streets wrapped in sleeping bags. Something needs to be done in all countries to fix this situation for beggars of all flavors.
We are big fans of walking to know better the places we visit. We may have something between 10 to 20 km per day. And from Paddington, we could reach on foot most of the places we had on our list.
The first evening we crossed Hyde Park and saw the giant crown.
London is so well documented that my article could be obsolete. So, I will mention what we liked the most.
History is at every corner, and it is number one (no surprise here), with palaces, museums, cathedrals, and parks. Our little surprise was that the street where Kensington Palace is - is under strict surveillance. Half of the castle is a museum(we visited), and Prince William and his family use the other half. But just across the palace, we noticed the Romanian Embassy (some trust here).
2. The Sky Garden.
On the last two floors (34 and 35), is, what else?, a garden.
We could see London from above.
3. Free museums.
They are on the podium because of the idea, offering a glimpse into famous works of the best-known paintings of all time, like Picasso, Modigliani, and others. I hope I will not be judged too harshly, but I was not impressed with those glorious paintings. And I was shocked by a canvas (considered exceptional painting) - some horizontal lines of different colors (bah). But I applaud with all my heart the initiative.
Notable mention: the city as a settlement.
Kilometers after kilometers in all directions we walked, there were impressive buildings with nice architecture, well maintained and clean. The architecture respected a certain pattern but was still not dull since the differences in buildings’ lines fit the idea of a well-crafted megalopolitan.
Our last stop in London trip was a good-looking restaurant, where the two pretty waiters working there were, uhhhhh, Romanians.
Should I mention something that was bothering me? Because of so many tourists, you have to book everything well in advance. So it was with our tickets for the Sky Garden (for free, but you still need the booking) and cathedrals, most of which we saw only from outside.
Conclusion (again): we enjoyed the London trip very much.