Old London Through New Eyes

I thought that I had seen all the “typical” London things, in the various times that I have been here: Westminster, Parliament, Big Ben, St. Pauls, the Tower of London… all wonderful experiences, but a little played out for me.

One beautiful autumn afternoon, I decided to swing back in to my favorite museum in London… the Museum of London (cleverly named, I know). Since it was conveniently located near some shops I wanted to explore, via one of my favorite walks (down Fleet Street to the Strand and up to Covent Garden), I would be bound to see some of those oldies but goodies. Sure, I’ll take my camera, but just in case.

It was while on my wander that I realized something: no matter how many times you see something, there’s always a different angle (sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively). And the best part about London? There’s always something new to discover.

It started simply: while on my walk to the grocery store, I decided to swing down a mews for a shortcut. (My borough in London has a LOT of streets that are mewses – former stables converted into houses). What I discovered was a colorful, flower-filled, narrow oasis.

After my weekly shop, it was time to head to the City of London.* 
As I departed from the St. Paul’s stop, I figured since I was right there I might as well go check out the old lady. (Man, I guess?). 
Coming up from a strange side angle I realized… in all my time in London, I’ve only ever seen one of its iconic landmarks from the same boring angles! Never before have I seen this: 
Or this:
And I had literally no clue that there was a beautiful garden to one side, and a pleasant seating area to the other: 

Following these revelations, it was time to head to my favorite museum and check out the new Our Londinium 2012 (Roman London) exhibit. This is where I saw the greatest museum display of all: a sly shout-out to Monty Python:
The best part about being in London in 2012 is that I get to experience their slogan: “This is GREAT Britain.” I’ve alluded to it before, but they are proud as anything about their year of the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. Pride is everywhere, from museum displays to random phone booths:

As I finished my walk, I came across a wall of London 2012 through the eyes of visitors. I certainly know something about that, don’t I?
And while I was doing my massive walk, this was happening:
*What’s that, you ask?! And I know you were asking! WELL allow me to educate. The City of London is different from London; in fact, it is just a little square mile area with approximately 10,000 people living there! It is the original London – this is where the Romans set up camp, and now where the financial district is focused. It also has its very own mayor, with the fancy title of Lord Mayor of London, not to be confused with the Mayor of London. The Lord Mayor has an awesome outfit, but the Mayor got to be on Jon Stewart a few months ago, so it’s a toss-up.

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