One Day in London
Sometimes, you have to escape the city… even when that city happens to be Paris. Lucky for me, London is just a two-hour train ride away.
Here’s the thing about May in France: there are a ton of bank holidays, some of which land in the middle of the week, like May Day (French Labor Day) did this year. Lots of people faire le pont (“make a bridge”) between the holiday and an adjacent weekend, thereby making it a very long weekend, but one can’t be doing that every time. So, sometimes one has a one-day vacation with which to do as much as one can, and one may as well visit one’s neighboring country.
There are two basic ways to spend such a trip: either running around trying to see as much as possible in a short time, or just chilling out and wandering around, seeing what you happen to see. We took the latter route.
The only things I actually planned were where we would eat dinner and lunch, and we actually ended up skipping out on our dinner reservation due to a stressful moment involving the most unpleasant border control officer I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet and a missed train. No matter, we found a chic little wine bar just steps from our AirBnB apartment in Soho with, as it turned out, exactly the kind of food I enjoy most. A few more steps to a local pub for a late-night beer topped off my first evening in the motherland.
The next day was spent making our meandering way toward lunch, stopping to take pictures and make detours through gardens and parks when we happened upon them, finding the river and looking up to find our way toward St. Paul’s. I enjoyed the luxury of asking for directions in my native language.
After a huge lunch in a posh restaurant where we were surrounded by suits, which involved copious amounts of beef and wine, all we wanted to do was lounge around enjoying the fair weather. So we crossed a bridge, passed by the Globe, and found a lawn in front of the Tate Modern where we could people-watch and accent-listen and sketch and generally be happy until it was time to cross another bridge and head back to St. Pancras for our return train.
So, on my first trip to London I didn’t see Big Ben or Westminster Abbey or Buckingham Palace. And you know, I’m happier having seen the city in this light.
Music to travel by: If Tha Mood [Esthero (feat. Shakari Nyte) // Wicked Lil’ Grrrls]