London in 3 days – Day 1

London Bridge London Bridge

I have to admit it was always one of the cities I most desired to visit, maybe because I have a close person that is completely addicted and neurotic about London, and early created an interest in me for this trip!

So, in a 3 day escape I adventured myself on Her Majesty lands.

London is a sort of paradise for every taste, and at the same time a city with centuries of history and cosmopolitan as few others. In every corner we find historical buildings next to others that show the best of today’s architecture. It is the past combined with the future in a perfect way. Therefore the success of that which is one of the most visited cities in the world.

London - 16  The view from St Paul’s Cathedral 

London is an important global city and one of the biggest, most important and influential financial centers in the world. A city that as origin with the Romans, has an enormous diversity of people, cultures and religions, one of the reasons why it is considered one of the most interesting of the world, and one of the best to live in.

London was once the biggest city in the world (between 1831 and 1925). Overpopulation and the traffic growth gave origin to the first urban railroader network. What we know as London is nothing more than an administrative region, that reunites 32 neighborhoods (boroughs) and a district that occupies the center of town (City of London) which is only a square mile long – Square Mile – and has a unique statute, with its own “Lord Mayor of London”, city hall, flag, escutcheon, police and even laws.

In terms of history, the City of London is special because it was in this area, the Thames’ north margin, in the late I century AD. that the Romans established commercially and called it Londinium.

But, history aside, I’ll tell you what I visited in just three days

We arrived in London at lunch hour and we were hungry! We left our luggage at the hotel and went discovering a place to eat.

We chose street food at the mythic Chinatown that is located in Soho, Westminster. It is a bit of China in the British capital, with restaurants and traditional shops of great quality.

Here you find oriental food at accessible price, and quite tasty as well, we chose the Yangguang Supermarket, and the most famous Char Siu Bao in town. (see article)

London - 15 St Paul

More comfortable and with our appetite satiated, we went to City of London, to one of the ex Libris of the city, St Paul’s Cathedral. This masterpiece, work of Sir Christopher Wren that reconstructed it after a great fire in 1966, was the place of marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1981. It is an Anglican cathedral and the headquarters of the Bishop of London, its dome is the world’s second bigger and it has an amazing view over the city. In this place was built the first Church of England, in 604 AD, made of wood. Throughout hundreds of years it was altered and reconstructed until acquiring the shape the last architect gave to it, Baroque style with a dome inspired in the Saint Peter’s Basilica (the only one that exceeds it in height!). Here are buried very important personalities, like its own architect, Florence Nightingale, nursing pioneer, the Duke of Wellington, Alexander Fleming, among many others.

London - 14 Tower of London

After this perfect example of sacred art we went to the Tower of London, which is located nearby. The Tower was founded in 1078 by William the Conqueror that ordered the construction of the White Tower inside the eastern angle of the city walls, adjacent to Thames. The Tower had the purpose of protecting the Normans of London and to protect the city of external invasions.

It was one of the places that interested me the most, because the entire environment is full of history and influenced by its own physical structure.

Its function was residential until the mid of the XVII century and nowadays it has the function of residence for the crowning king. However, the functions changed throughout the centuries, since palace to Royal Mint, to “Animals of the Kingdom Exhibition”, being also a place of executions and torture. This last one with those stories that fill our curious minds, morbid, I would say!

London - 13 Bloody Tower – Tower of London

It is also in the Tower of London that the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom are kept, in an underground chamber.

An interesting fact is that the colony of crows that lives in the Tower is protected by royal Decree, because according to the legend, the Empire will fall the day that the crows leave this place, truth or myth, better not to take chances!

London - 3             London - 4             London - 7
London - 6             London - 8             London - 5

This marvelous and mysterious, almost frightening work of art is also constituted by the Bloody Tower, that represents the obscure past of terror of this place, the Saint John Church, a Normand place of religious devotion, the Traitors’ Gate, so called for guaranteeing a discrete way of taking prisoners to the Tower, the Green Tower, place of execution of noble people, for example, Anne Boleyn, the royal weapons and armory museum, and the guards, a total of 35 that we find along the complex, using the uniforms from the Tudors time.

Summing up, it’s an example of pure history with all the mystery necessary for us to sustain our breath.

London - 11m

Very close to the Tower we have one of the most iconic places in town, the Tower Bridge, a bascule and suspension bridge over the Thames, inaugurated in 1894, being one of the most famous bridges of the world nowadays, and, without doubt, one of the most beautiful.

To end this afternoon taken out of a history class, we went to dinner at Tapas Brindisa (article) in the surroundings of Borough Market.

London - 22Piccadilly Circus

After dinner we took the opportunity to visit one of the most frantic squares in London, Piccadilly Circus. What a life, what a light, what craziness! We are completely invaded with a sensation of joy, so great is the euphoria in this area!

The area is surrounded with several tourist attractions, including the statue of Eros, the bars and theaters of the London West End. In the sixties it was one of the centers of the modern London.

London - 23             London - 21             London - 18

One of the reasons it is called Circus are the famous outdoors located in a corner building of Piccadilly, in which several commercial adds in neon can be observed.

Lastly, we finished the first day, exhausted, watching the musical The Phantom of the Opera, at Her Majesty’s Theater (at the time of our visit still with the great Sofia Escobar), I recommend you go see a musical, there are a lot of them all year long, and for every taste!

London - 20 The end of the 1st day was perfect, in the company of the famous Phantom of the Opera 

This article is the 1st of a series of 3. (Day 2) (Day 3)

Text: Cíntia Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.