Good bye London

It’s time to say “good bye” to the city I have visited many many times, but seems so different this time. 

  
As I walked down familiar and unfamiliar streets I was struck by the change in the street scape. Cranes and new build-ups dot the skyline. Looking for familiar landmarks that used to stick up above the old buildings are now hidden by new modern glass architecture. I don’t particularly like the changes even though I know they are a given. But coming from a city where we might see one or two cranes, this is a huge contrast.

     

the view from Westminster Cathedral courtyard

 The congestion and the crowded streets got to me this time. I felt like I was always fighting for space when I just wanted to wander down a street. Stopping to take photos could sometimes feel like a jostling match. I didn’t get to take as many as I wanted and setting up my pinhole camera was, at times, impossible.

   
 It was after my last night staying in central London when I returned to my friend’s house on the outskirts of London that the tragedy in Paris unfolded. We don’t like giving into fear, but admit we changed our weekend plans. We were going to have a crazy jam-packed weekend in the city, riding the tram across the Thames, the O2, the lighting ceremony on Regent Street and lots of eating in crowded restaurants. Instead my last weekend is spent doing family activities , snuggled on the sofa, getting take-out and watching the news from Paris. We’ve decided to forget the crowds. Maybe if I was alone I’d do it, maybe not, but when there is also a baby with us, we think twice.  

 I will come back. Not sure when, but I know I will. London and the friends I have here draw me back. Now I just want a safe journey home and I won’t just think about the people in Paris, but people everywhere who have lost their lives to the violence that seems to crowd our newspapers and Tvs. Will we ever have peace? I can only hope. 

( I will continue to share photos from my amazing 6 1/2 weeks in London once I return home. Take care and may we all stay safe)

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About gretchen

I love living in the Pacific Northwest being close to the mountains and the ocean. My hobbies include photography, travel, reading, biking, walking and gardening. I am an Anglophile at heart and try to visit the UK often. My camera goes everywhere with me.
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