“The sun never sets on the British Empire” is a phrase that I have heard a lot. One can definitely feel the might of the once most powerful empire on the streets of London with all the government and cabinet buildings on Whitehall street. From Trafalgar plaza to Big Ben! Stepping into the British Museum you can see London’s entire history from the collection of arts and heritages from its previous colonies.
I particularly like the unique way of how they are displaying its glorious history. They do it in a very discreet way instead of the obvious route. The British Museum is a perfect example. It may be the biggest and most comprehensive museum of the world and it has cultural heritages from all around the world. Another example could be found in the WWII memorial buildings and Albert Monument buildings. Each pole represents the continent of its previous colonies and purposely seems to lift up the British Empire. Very elegantly done and definitely has earned my respect.
Whenever I visit a new city, I walk. It is my favorite way to feel the city and the people. London is easily one of the best cities for a walker like me. Walking through the historic buildings and seeing London’s history is just simply amazing. Because it is an old city, the streets are not only vertical and horizontal, like the U.S. I got lost a few times and had to ask a nice gentleman for directions. He gave me directions that had about 15 precise steps. I wasn’t really familiar with his British accent and got lost after the 3rd or 4th step, but of course I had to keep nodding my head as if I perfectly understood step 1 to 15. I asked more people for directions, however, not everyone was as precise as he was. Although, most of the people I asked very generous and precise about it.
I heard many stories about London and its food not meeting the standard of the city’s beauty. Perhaps, my low expectation helped, but the food was much better than expected. Near Westminster, Covent Garden, and Soho, all the light poles seemed to have this “Chanel” logo and no one seemed to know what it means. If anyone does know what it means, I would greatly appreciate it if you could enlighten me.
As a history freak, I fell hopelessly in love with London and 3 days was not even close to being enough. Not only is it so rich with history, but the harmony between the old and the new was amazing. Below are photos taken in the City of London, the financial center of UK. The city may have a lot of skyscrapers, but you can find an old church where Londoners take a break during lunch. As an American, it was very interesting and extraordinary.
As I was walking through the streets of London, I kept thinking to bring my family here one day. Not doing the tour of Buckingham palace, not visiting the Tower of London, only spending 2~3 hours at the British Museum, not experiencing the Premium League game in a stadium, the Imperial war museum are so many regrets which I plan to conquer on my next visit.
However, this trip was really a learning experience as I got to experience its culture in person. I’ve learned that British gentlemen like to appear simple , yet the aroma of elegance is the proper manner. They are in general warm and kind with the razor-sharp precision. It felt challenging at first to combine these values into a collection, but I am very excited to show you what I came up with. See you soon!