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London Travel Blog

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“When you’ve been good to Mama, Mama’s good to you.”

So you’ve figured out it’s a quote from the musical, Chicago, but why in the world am I talking about it from London?  Because I did it!  I was that kid who saw a show in London!  I’m not the only ‘kid’, but I feel so sophisticated and educated about London after that musical…based in Chicago!  Though the quote may seem random, it sums up London for me.  The quote is simple, yet eloquent.  London is the mother of all cities we’ve visited and the ‘Mama’ in the quote I’ve picked.  Whether it’s involved site visits or just walking around and soaking up all London has to offer, I’ve been subject to and witnessed the generosities and good tidings this city gives everywhere!

            You be good to London, and London will most definitely be good to you.  This immediately resounded in me when we first visited the ‘Tube.’  Saying it is immaculate doesn’t do it justice.  No graffiti, no bums, perfect execution and cognitive maintenance make for the best subway system in the world.  Public transportation becomes an art form in this city, with each new day giving way for the opportunity to pick a combination of colorful routes to get you to your destination.  Questions raced through my head almost as fast as the trains ran themselves.  How have they kept it so clean?  Why haven’t every other city’s subway taken a page out of London’s book?  Why do they need cars at all?  I got the impression that this nice subway was a reward to the people of London for achieving so much and embracing the uniqueness of the city and country. 

            This rewarding nature continued as we went to the British Museum, Tate Modern, and National Gallery.  Not only were they great museums, but they’re all free!  Through benefits and donations by well-to-do people, these costly museums are available to anyone in the world.  I thought this was something very special.   Of course, each one asked for a donation, but I saw many people not even disturbing their purses or back pockets.  Some of the best museums we’ve been to are paid for by I don’t know who…the British citizens maybe?  Very wealthy donators?  Whether or not Parliament subliminally adds higher notes to everything or through taxes I’ll never know.  What I have figured out though is that the city of London respects and rewards the people who make the city great.

The Rosetta Stone was cool, but the HMS Belfast was cooler.  Talk about a unique attraction...this lone remaining British WWII ship was very impressive...ship and tour.  I did the whole effigies in the Temple Church bit...I must say I have much reverance for those Knights Templar.  Changing of the guard was memorable...especially when the 'band' played 'Piano Man'.  Who'd have thunk that??  Britain...London anyways...has turned out to be my favorite city.  Maybe it's the English, maybe it's the history, I don't know...but I love it!

            Accents alike, I felt like the British people as a whole were connected.  They may hate me as an American, but I love their city.  I’m sure Ben Franklin felt the same way before he had to abruptly leave in the mid-18th century.  We went to his embassy-like house yesterday and I was very impressed with the presentation.  There wasn’t much in the way of artifacts or trinkets from his time there, but the tour was a show in itself.  Franklin was accommodated for and revered to the highest degree in London, and for an hour, I felt the same way when I was led from room to room by the British tour guide.  This was definitely the most interesting site visit we’ve been to as a group.

            Actually, I think back and cannot think of a time when I’ve been here and have felt inferior or unwanted, unlike occasional feelings I’ve had in other cities.  I’ve never been to a city and felt so much like I was supposed to be there.  Kind businessmen, waiters, curators and cab drivers have only helped my understanding and appreciation for this city.  Each and every person I’ve encountered has, in a sense, encouraged me to have fun and enjoy my stay here.  If Franklin was received with the same sincerity, then I would have to give some credit to the peoples of Britain for many of his accomplishments while in London!  The crowdedness is there and daily British life goes on as usual, but where else can you feel rewarded for crossing the street?  They acknowledge that they are different by their odd signs, funny accents, and unique phrases, but as long as you’re good to London, a.k.a. try to fit in/follow signs/respect Britain, then London will be an unforgettable trip and experience. 

            And it has been.  London has been personified into this glorious being, but it acts more humanly than most civilized people.  It has molded over the years into one of the best cities for enlightenment, tourism, business, and living.  Their currency may blow ours out of the water, but I don’t mind spending a few extra dollars in such a grand city.  I’ve been here for four days, but I feel accepted.  I’m an experience Londoner, and have been and will be receiving good graces because of this.  London really is ‘all that jazz.’ 

To Oxford I go.  My 4-week traveling part is over.  Thanks for ‘listening’     :)

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photo by: ulysses