5 initial Impressions of London
After having done a fair amount of travel, planning trips has become more challenging for me. The more I travel, the more I have learned about my preferences and what to avoid in my journey. However, wanting more control means there are harder decisions to make. Slowly, I became less adventurous, and sometimes it kinds of defeat the purpose of traveling. Since I had never been to London other than making flight connections, I wasn't sure what to expect and struggled to figure out transportation.
Public transport in London
During my trip preparation, I was confused with the difference of an Oyster Card and the Travelcard as they somewhat overlap. Then I scratched my head trying to figure out the zone system. I was in town for 8 days, so I ended up getting a 7 days Travelcard and adding credit to my Oyster card on an extra day. With more research, I found out most of the places I planned to visit were mostly in zone 1 to zone 2. When I went to Hampton Court Palace, which was further away from the city, I had to purchase a separate train ticket at the South Western Railway Station.
The public transport system in London is quite similar to the one in New York. Instead of calling it the Subway, they call it London Underground or the Tube. With the help of Google Maps, it was fairly easy to get around London. Compared to the Subway in New York, I thought it was much easier to figure out which direction I was heading. Ether Eastbound or Westbound, Southbound of Northbound, less chance for me to take a wrong train in general.
People are more diverse in London
While exploring in London, I found that people are more diverse compared to most cities in the United States. I found because of the diversity, people whom I got to talk to were friendly and helpful.
It is more than fish and chips
For years, I have always heard London only has fish and chips, and the food is pretty average. Now I can tell you this myth is entirely false. With the diversity in town, you have plenty of options for good food! Street food was terrific, and some of the restaurants were so good that you would have to make a reservation ahead of time or go as early as 5 pm for dinner.
I would try to pay attention to the locals when I visit a new place. From my observation, people in London are less obsessed with Instagram/social media or their phones in general. One way to support my theory is, you can still find plenty of physical bookstores in London, and I often see people reading a book while they were on the train, instead of burying their heads in the world of social media.
With the history that Great Britain has, the architecture in London is spectacular! Particularly at the historical sites, you can find buildings are magnificent with a lot of decorative details. Other than the grand architecture, I feel particularly in love with the old apartment buildings. They were charming and full of character!
8 days of my London trip went by fast! Before I was ready, it was time to head home. There was a long list of great experiences I had in London, and here I share my 5 initial impressions. If you have been to London, what are your thoughts?