London: Out and About

It truly amazes me how vast a city London is, from its beautiful architecture to its varied atmospheres. Tuesday I got to experience a little more of what London has to offer with “London Fam” during a sun-filled day with bright blue skies.

Olivia lead everyone to one of her favorite places in London via three buses to the Hill Garden and Pergola in Hampstead Heath, a very wealthy and beautiful area. What used to be a rich man’s garden (yard) is now a gorgeous public park that not many would expect to find in London.  Basically, it is a grand elevated terrace set on picturesque gardens. I am so glad Olivia brought us to this hidden gem.

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After that peaceful rendezvous with nature, we headed back to central London to the Barbican Center, which is the largest performing arts center in Europe. When I was there, I did not realize it was a performing arts center; it reminded me of New York’s highline: it is a raised and multi-level concrete walkway dotted with greenery and even has a small pond with fountains. Mixed in are apartments, restaurants and offices. This would definitely be a desirable place to reside!

We were supposed to visit the conservatory, but it was closed. We decided to visit the Museum of London, which is also located in the center. The museum was quite fascinating, as it told London’s history from thousands of years ago until modern times. There were interesting displays of artifacts, clothing and even examples of what homes of some time periods were like. It was a worthwhile visit for sure.

The Barbican Center is located at the ruins of the London Wall, which was the defensive wall built by the Romans during second or third century. I was pleased to find a piece of unexpected history.

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After the museum, “London Fam” took me and Olivia to the top of a modern shopping center to view St. Paul’s Cathedral, which also happened to be the time of sunset. We unexpectedly received an exquisite view.

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Finally, to end the night, we grabbed food and headed off to the Winter Lights Festival at Canary Wharf Harbor, which is an area that really reminded me to NYC’s business district. We explored the wharf and the unique light displays for a bit over an hour before heading home for the night.

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This was definitely a busy day, and it was nice that we all got to make memories together (such as missing six trains before fitting on one because it was rush hour). London has so many hidden and unearthed gems, and I could probably discover something new every day to explore.

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