I could list a whole amount of things I wish I did when in London, like go out more at night, explore the immigrant neighbourhoods and the greener surroundings. On the other hand I did many other things that filled my heart with joy, especially that my partner in crime was my mom, to whom I promised this trip a long time ago.
University mates, friends from Canada, Barcelona, a British ex-employer and a doctor friend from the cruiseships all live in this Babel Mecca now. Two of my Romanian friends there met me in Lisboa while travelling. So it was a great opportunity to see them all, catch up and eventually introducing them to each other, as three are Romanian single moms. Helping people becoming friends is one of my greatest joys. It all started with a college friend offering me accommodation responding to a Facebook announcement; last time we met at night on the street in Padova back in '99.
|Saint James Park|
Of course museums and luxurious beautiful shops like Fortnum&Mason are great sights, but somehow you can find similar ones in every other historical big city. If I was to make a top of the things I enjoyed most I would say theatre, the parks, the markets.
To me there's no theatre like the English theatre; lately I tend to favour more and more nature over buildings and I found the local markets to be lively and different, especially Camden Lock and Borough Market. I'm pretty sure I would have enjoyed the immigrant East and South areas but time was short and temptations plenty.
Plus, one of our best decisions was to visit Canterbury, host to the most important Anglican cathedral nd to Chaucer's colourful tales.
The green landscapes of Kent looked picture perfect, just like the charming XIX-early XX century looking shops, coffee shops and pubs. I felt respect for tradition and a certain way of doing things. People were mostly polite and cheerful, quite accommodating I would say.
English gastronomy may not be famous but I've discovered a whole variety of beers, great dairy products, cheeses like Stilton and Red Leicester and of course amazing oysters and real salmon, that I miss so much in Portugal where we only get some fake farm-raised Norwegian variety.
All together it was oh, so charming indeed! I'd definitely go back there for another round.