London, England (March 2003)

London has to be one of my favorite cities. Well that may be a lie, I have a lot of favorites. The first time I was in London I remember thinking to myself, wow, what an international city. There were so many languages being spoken on the street, in the tube and pretty much everywhere. I felt like no one could possibly be out of place in this city because there are so many different kinds people. The people make the place, but so does the architecture and history. The entire United Kingdom has rich and varied history, from the warring tribes through the middle ages to wars to present day. There is a religious history, and a secular history, a barbaric history, a colonial history, and through it all, you can see the evolution of a modern country. You can see this in the architecture all around the city from Big Ben and Parliament to the modern day London Eye, the stark contrast between old and elegant and new and advanced just across the river from each other. Every culture exists in this city, every store, every market, anything you could ever need or want to do you can. Any socio-economic class or rundown neighborhood, or poshest of the posh is a tube stop away. I have the unique experience of having visited a friend who lived in the poshest, Luxham Gardens, and the complete oppostive spectrum at Stockwell. Getting of the beaten path is seriously underrated and sometimes the best experience of travel can happen at a local store or laundramat. London truly is the international city, with green space to boot. I have been three times, and feel that a million times wouldn't even be enough.