London is grimy. And I mean that positively. London is practically filthy with history, culture and charm. Everywhere I look, I find something to love about this city. There are markets filled with locals selling everything from vintage clothes to multicolored lanterns to truffle oil. There are street performers of all kinds – guitarists, bongo players, puppeteers. There are pianos in the train stations that exist for anyone to play. The history of every building is staggering. And so much to do and see! I have barely had time or energy to sit down and write because I tend to fall sleep not long after hitting my pillow.
When the days are as long as there are out here – the sun sets currently around 10 PM! – you don’t really stop often for a breather. It really wasn’t until we got to Dublin that it became a necessity to simply relax. But that’s kind of the thing about London. You want to keep going because there is just so much. There’s food everywhere (don’t let someone tell you that English food is horrible because I’ve definitely had some tasty dishes while here). There are pubs and gardens and palaces, gates and fountains…the list goes on. London is downright magical at times. Walking through the underground at night and hearing the echo of a guitarist made me feel like I was starring in some sort of movie.
As mentioned, I am currently in Dublin right now and loving it. It reminds me somewhat of London however it has a different sort of spirit. London has a much more refined air to it naturally due to its immense history. Dublin, while certainly isn’t lacking in history, is much more raucous and loud. Amble into any pub and you will see what I mean. All is takes it to hear an Irishman belt out a drinking song in a pub and suddenly you’ve taken up your pint and joined in singing. Everywhere is music and laughter in Dublin. As its currently (and unusually) sunny, the city is awash with flowers. So it’s downright beautiful. It’s amazing just how similar and yet different Dublin is from London. You have two cultures of people who are so proud of their heritage and so willing to share it that they all but shout at the top of their lungs. (And to be fair, the Irish will shout.) The pride I feel emanating from the peoples here makes this such a great place to visit. I will certainly be back to both. (And actually I’ll be heading to Scotland in August so I’ll probably check out some other parts of England and Wales).
Until next time! Cheers and Slainte!