Live like a local.
When I see B/W photos I see a period frozen in time: Officers and Civilians, Affluence and Impoverishment, Tradition and Culture. What was and how it must have been? Who walked where? What conversations were being had by whom? Everywhere I’m surrounded by chronicles explaining the history and its rumors. My imagination runs wild until reality abruptly reminds me of the here and NOW. Where laughing or talking violates no rules, and yet it’s eerily quiet. We pass strangers in the street providing the wide berth we've all become accustom. We share nothing and yet, together, we are all experiencing what will soon be history. Full circle, it’s once again a time of black ‘n white. But it doesn't have to take away the color in our lives. I can choose the exact same scenes and pay attention to the colors along the way! There is usually a silver lining in every cloud...
Every day David and I ride a bike along a relatively deserted 6+ mile trail passing many famous landmarks then happily we’re reminded that someday friends and family will, once again, come to visit. This route has become something of an ordinary journey for us and yet I’m elevating it to a “must do” when you come to London. It is unmistakably full of stunning sights. Try to imagine that soon we'll be able to stop for a picnic or grab a beer from a local pub!
Let me virtually take you on our ride. Each individual place is worth spending more time exploring but we’ll show you our commute and you can decide what interests you so you can delve in deeper when you visit. Remember, it has two lives: Black n White of the past and vibrant Color of the present, there is plenty of beauty in each. We’ll start with The London Wall built by the Romans, ride through the city to St. Paul’s Cathedral where its dome remains the highest in the world (thank goodness, whenever I’m lost I just ride towards it to find our temporary housing). Then we meander onto a protected bike trail almost the entire way to Notting Hill, where we live. First, steer along the river Thames where you can’t help spot The Tower Bridge, The London Bridge, and the Westminster Bridge overlooking the remake of Shakespeare’s Globe. The landscape is dominated by the modern London Eye and the Shard. We continue cycling through with Big Ben towering over us, and Westminster Abbey: the traditional place for coronations and burial sites for British Monarchs. Continue onto the entrance to Buckingham Palace, where even during COVID the Queen’s guards are visible. Next we come upon Wellington Arch: proclaiming Wellesley’s defeat of Napoleon. From here it’s pretty much a straight shot through the luscious grounds of Hyde Park where you can see where past meets present because there are so many leisure activities woven throughout the statues. You can choose to go for a walk, take a bike ride, jump on a horse, swim, take your chance with a pedal or row boat, even hope for enough solar power to go on the UK’s first solar powered boat. As you continue, you won’t miss the grand Royal Albert Hall, it was originally built to promote understanding and appreciation of the arts and sciences but he died before it materialized. What a heritage! Finish up the ride through the beautiful Kensington gardens / palace and then onto our modest flat. I’m pretty sure our place won’t go down in history so you won’t see any B/W photos!
If any of this ride is of interest to you, I’d love to share some, or all, of it with you when you come. As wonderful as it’s been seeing it without the crowds, I will welcome the hustle and bustle of tourism once again. London is doing a concerted effort to make safe biking a possibility!
Don't take life so seriously.
I'm Jody. I love to travel. I love to take pictures. I love to meet people and find interesting places. I also love to write about and post pix of what I've found. But, I've been told that I write like I talk - in streams of consciousness. So, if proper grammar and well composed sentences are a must for you - my posts will make you crazy. If you want to follow my journey as I learn about really cool places and offer some great tips about living abroad, read on!