Saturday, May 30, 2009

Layover in London.....

Why hello everyone! I am currently sitting in the London Airport, waiting to board the plane to my final destination, Lusaka Zambia. As I am eager to share my experiences upon arrival in Zambia, I mustn’t leave out the wonderful day I had today in the city.

London is absolutely beautiful- The streets packed, filled with beautiful buildings overlapping each other. The fences iron, the architecture detailed, the flowers vibrant. Gardens flourish surrounding the parks, with trees overlaying each path and walkway, almost tunnel-like.
I must admit that I am not one for what is stereotypically known as “tourism” however, today I very much fell into that category . I believe that my time was much too short to even begin to appreciate the beauty of London, however, I suppose that what I did see enabled me to grow on what I had previously assumed London to be.

A few places that we visited were Green Park, Buckingham Palace, the Horse Guard, Parliament, and of course Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. I very much enjoyed each of these.

As I walked through Green Park, I cannot describe what exactly was going through my head. I remember watching people with a complete uncertainty of what they were doing, questioning what it was that had brought them to Green Park. Beyond those with obvious intentions, meaning those aiming to capture beauty with camera lenses larger than bricks, I could not piece together in my mind why someone would be in Green Park. With continued observation I found that people enjoyed this place, they enjoyed a simplicity of life that I have not seen in quite some time. The man on the bench, investing in what looked to be a large novel of some sort, I wondered if he had anything else to be doing? Does he have a job? A family? What is it that makes it okay for him to be here? On the flip side, why wouldn’t this be okay? I have not the answers to my own questioning. I do know though, that something about Green Park made me want to put prose on a page. My desire for a paintbrush also presented itself.

As we approached the gates to Buckingham Palace, a parade was taking place. Beyond the thick iron gate, guards and horses passed, presenting the residency of the Queen. The grounds of this palace were well tended too, with flowerbeds and thick green grass covering the ground. There were large statues that caught my eye, and the beauty of her palace lingered in my mind, even as we moved on.

We walked through the Horse Guard, another beautifully detailed building, and were able to see a real guard. I felt bad for him, unable to smile. My initial observation was that he was absolutely disgusted with the constant flow of tourists, ranting and raving, obnoxiously snapping pictures of him on his horse. He looked not much older than me. I wondered what he was thinking as he sat there. I do not believe my final observation differed from my initial. I left somewhat ashamed myself, and even a bit embarrassed that I too, had taken part in this picture act.

Parliament was also quite astounding. Much larger than I ever imagined. As we drew closer on sidewalk, I found myself wishing I knew so much more of the history of London. I strongly desired to understand exactly what went on in that building, exactly whose work resided in that building, and the actual history of the building as well.

My tour of Westminster Abbey was completely radical. My eyes focused on the details of the architecture, with even the tiniest details radiating in the sunlight. I desired so strongly to just stand and stare, to attempt to gain a greater appreciation of such impressive work.. However, I also could not resist a look inside. Grant (another EOH intern) and I entered at a cost of 6 pounds. Westminster Abbey, a gorgeous I had never even imagined possible. I have not the words to describe such an intensely rich experience.

Visiting Westminster concluded our main tour of London. As we walked down the streets, I continued to question what life was like in London. I could not imagine, or even wrap my mind around what it would be like to spend an extended period of time somewhere like that- to be able to call a place such as this, ‘home.’ I could not imagine a life that consisted of daily trips through Green Park, or walking down streets with such beauty. I cannot imagine what it would be like to understand the rich history of London, also understanding the true significance and history of each of those sites.

Well, I must get going. About to board my final plane to Lusaka, where I will reside for the next 2 months of my life. I am very much excited!
More later.

P.S. I have been trying to upload pictures, however am having some difficulty. Hopefully I can upload a few here and there. Sorry!

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