London is calling tomorrow! It’s time for my late spring break. And did I choose to spend it skiing in some ski-resort in Lapland, or in a fancy spa hotel around the capital area? Oh no, I am doing something much more cool. I’m taking my little sister to the “Old Country”, the good old England.
Years ago, when I first visited London, I decided it’s the place I’m going to move some day. Well now I think UK is not my number one choice, but there’s no reason why I couldn’t live there. I absolutely adore London. I’ve been to most European capitals, and there are only few of them I would re-visit.
First of all, I like the infrastructure. White buildings, black metal fences, pillars, and a red phone-booths here and there. Signs on the ground that tell you which side to look so you won’t get hit by a car. “Mind the gap.” The tube (the most well-organized metro system in the world – including the one in Helsinki!). Hyde Park is the ideal place to hang out, take your notebook out and write. That’s my experience as a tourist. Of course the real London is nothing like that, and I bet real londoners knows much nicer places to go than Hyde Park. Maybe that’s why I am not looking forward to move there so eagerly anymore. I don’t want to lose my illusion of the perfect city.
This week I get to enjoy being a tourist again. My sister has never been there, so I will be taking her to all the attractions. The Buckingham palace, Westminster Abbey, Madame Tussaud’s, and so on. We will be enjoying a musical, and have lovely afternoon tea at the Ritz Hotel. Yes, we will be as posh as we can ;)
I have been setting the mood all last week. I went through Netflix to find British movies, or movies about England. So I watched V for Vendetta, Young Victoria, The other Boleyn girl, Iron Lady, and of course one of my favourites: The King’s Speech. I think after that I am very well educated about the past and the future of the British Empire.
I can’t wait! I love travelling. I love airports. Not when they are too crowded though, because I have a tendency to panic when it seems I might not make it to the gate in time… But besides that, I love them. The overly priced water bottles, all different kinds of train that take you from terminal to another, the loudspeakers calling someone’s name (except in Amsterdam! After my plane was delayed for 6 hours, I got very tired of hearing the same lady’s voice every two minutes, speaking the weird language of Dutch), and people with suitcases. Because more than I love airports, I love packing.
I might have a mild OCD, but I am not ashamed to admit that I like things being in order. That’s what suitcases represent to me. Control, and neatness. Knowing what you want, knowing what you need. “To see the world, in a grain of sand” says William Blake. “To see order in one small suitcase”, I could say. In the world of suitcases there is harmony and order everywhere. Every item packed will be needed. No extra stuff. All shirts and socks, nice folded. Small jars and tubes in bathroom bags, shoes is plastic bags, and possible souvenirs nicely wrapped. At least that’s how I imagine things being. The truth might be something different. I have seen some of my friends pack……. Luckily my fianceé lets me pack for him.
Anyway, I might post a cute photo collage of the trip, but after that it is time for a more meaningful, insightful, important-ful post.
To quote Joey: “London Baby!”
P.S. If anyone knows nice places to eat in London, please let me know. I have never been to a city where it’s as hard to find restaurants!