I guess the angle of this post should be pretty obvious… but I’ll say it anyway – i.love.london. It’s more than grey skies, more than traffic, more than an accent (queue Forgetting Sarah Marshall) this place is nothing less than phenomenal. Although I only spent four days in London during my three-month Europe trip, I fell hard and fast for the overpopulated, old, smoggy city, soon to be ‘home’. From its black taxis, to its historical buildings, to its tube system – the city never sleeps and there is always something new to see, do and feel. I don’t want to write too much about the place as I don’t believe my experience from four days can do a city like this justice in comparison to what I am soon to discover – but what I can say is that the place is electric and I was electrocuted.
The history is somewhat overwhelming – when I was exploring the Tower of London I couldn’t get over the fact that I was standing within 1,000 years of history…774 years older than my country! Some pretty interesting events occurred at the Tower over the years and although I never took myself as a historian (as my fifth form History teacher Mr. Bailey would readily agree with), I couldn’t help but be in awe of the stories and events that took place within its walls;
In 1066, when New Zealand was a mere twinkle in the worlds eye, William the Conqueror established the Tower to keep Londoners at bay
In 1255 the first elephant to ever set foot in England was a male African Elephant gifted to King Henry III, which he received from King Louis IX of France
In 1536 Queen Anne Boleyn, who is probably the most well-known of King Henry VIII wives, was the first British Queen to be publicly executed and was beheaded in the Towers greens
In 1605 Guy Fawkes – who we all now know of in modern-day life as the name behind the fun of the annual fireworks displays on November 5th, was tortured at the Tower following his failed plotted attempt to assassinate James I and blow up parliament
In 1841 (NB scheme of things = New Zealand is now one year old on the world map…) the Crown Jewels were saved from fire to later be put on display for the public to view in 2012 – a pretty impressive set of bling to put it lightly!
The Tower doesn’t even touch the sides of the history available around London, yet the city still has so much more to offer than the abundance of worldly and historical importance. It’s multi cultural nature (& the food that comes with it), its theatre, its sheer size & significance on the world stage and the opportunities that come with it, its markets, its Royals, its shopping – but most importantly – its position on the globe which enables people like me to use it as a base to travel Europe from, falls nothing short of priceless. I can’t wait to call this place home and absorb as much of London as I can – 9 weeks, 5 days and counting!