London is gray. You wake up as the clouds roll in and it pours casting everything in a damp gray shadow. Caught without an umbrella and you’ll finding yourself walking down those gray streets much faster to your destination.
Like the weather several other aspects of the city seem stereotypical.
Find a royal guard and you’ll also see dozens of tourists (many of who are American) teasing, taunting and photographing him hoping they will be so lucky to make him smile, or in our case smirk at them. Go the Tower of London and hear all the stories of centuries of torture and the cruelty of Henry VIII towards his unfortunate wives. Walk into a pub order fish and chips and wash it down with a round of beer.
But underneath the gray skies, there is another side of London missed on first impresions. Look close enough and you can see where ancient history and modern day city intertwine. For instance, the streets bustling with cars serve as the back drop for the last remains of the Roman Wall; a stronghold built by the conquering Romans in the year 200A.D. Look up as you walk and you’ll notice the beauty of the city with its ornate golden architecture some 400 years old. And if you listen to a local Cockney speak you’ll be surprised to hear their distinctive dialect and rhyming slang.
That is the London I came to see and look forward to exploring in the weeks to come.