A day with some family members in the centre of London recently was lots of fun.
After a quick spot of lunch at a French Patisserie, we jumped on one of London’s iconic red buses and headed upstairs. We chuckled with glee like little kids when found front seats up top were empty. We could get a clear view of the Christmas lights as London gears up for the Christmas festivities.
We passed the BBC headquarters down Regents Street and Oxford Street to Picadilly Circus where we waved to Eros as we headed into Trafalgar Square– the big Norwegian Christmas tree wasn’t up yet. A slight diversion found as at the bank of the river Thames near Big Ben and Houses of Parliament. The Jewish Widows were having their memorial remembrance service and demonstration by the Gurkas on Whitehall had meant the area was closed off to traffic. We paid our respects at the Cenotaph, still covered with poppy wreaths from Remembrance Day earlier in the month and then made our way back up Horseguards Parade where the bearskinned, red-tuniced soldiers still stand on guard, as the traffic finally began to flow again, dusk darkened and Big Ben boomed out. It was incredibly moving listening to Big Ben in the silence before the cars started moving again, imagining that moment of the Remembrance service.
We made our way back up towards Covent Garden, one time site of the famous Covent Garden Flower market, now made upmarket and fashionable, full of brand names and boutique shops. Still has a strong creative spirit with the Royal Opera House dominating the area and a medley of shops, market stalls and vendors beefed up for Christmas with decorated reindeer, roasted chestnut sellers, street artists and mime performers, buskers and tourists all intermingled in a lively colourful multilingual mix of smiling, entranced faces, thrilled by the enchantment of colour, taste, sound and smell of all the variety on offer.
We eventually made our way via Leicester Square over to nearby China town for some authentic Chinese food and a glimpse into a different way of life.
Then it was time for home. A few hours, all within walking distance. It felt like a world tour, time travel through history.