Even though this city stands at only 1 square mile it is packed with rich history...and stuffed with tourists. The size also makes it the smallest capital in the world. People from all over the world visit and live here. It’s amazing how many accents and nationalities call London “home”.
There are churches with bells all over the city that ring on the hour. Big Ben (the name of the bell, the clock tower is really just called the Clock Tower) chimes every 15 minutes. Next year (2017) he will be quite while they reset the clock. This is GMT time! It’s ground zero of the time zones – can’t have that off :) It’s technically GMT +1 right now because it’s British Summer Time (like the US Daylight Savings).
It is unusually warm (I’m told) for this time of year. It has been a sunny 74 which has felt hot, they must have higher humidity because 74 isn’t all that hot in my Texas mind. Strangely though, people are still bundled up like it’s 50 degrees (or cooler). The men have wool suits on and the girls are wearing scarves and leather jackets. I could maybe understand on the first day of this (surprise, it’s unusually warm), but by Day 3 I’ve decided the entire country must have extremely low blood pressure or they are just too proper to be HOT.
It’s also very interesting that at 9am on a Thursday people are still bustling to work and by 5pm they are all out on the sidewalks drinking. This continues until about 7-8pm. The pubs aren’t even full inside yet people gather outside the bar where they stand with their beers (and cigarettes). I saw very few pubs with patios while there were restaurants with patios – these were not crowded at quitting time.
The “chips” aka fries here are not good. Seems pretty hard to mess up potato slices but they have got that done across town. I did enjoy some sweet potato fries and some amazing cider called Aspoll that was very refreshing and not too sweet. We had lunch/dinner around a few of the tourist attractions (hard not to, since the entire city is a beautiful postcard) and I was surprised how reasonable the fares were…even gift shop trinkets were not at Walt Disney World prices.
My favorite part was our boat tour down the Thames (pronounced "Tems" like gems). The weather was perfect and the river is lined with historical buildings like the Parliament, Ben Ben, London Bridge, Tower Bridge (the one in all the photos), and more. It also seems that all of London is meticulously landscaped like a backdrop for a watercolor painting.