A journey with a view.
I wish I had some cool off-the-beaten path places that I must see in London, but I don’t. Well, at least not yet. I’m going to London – like so many other travelers before me – armed with a list of historic and iconic places (and one person) that have called the tourist in me to go see.
I want to share an experience. I suspect that’s one of the biggest draws for most popular tourist destinations. And although I am an avowed introvert, I
do like sitting down with a few friends who have seen the same places or eaten at the same restaurant and recalling similar or disparate experiences. So, must-see attractions offer me that opportunity along with all the special and unique characteristics that have made them, well, must-sees.
Alright, let’s get to it. Here are the top 10 things I must see while in London:
1. Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard. Short and sweet must-see. It would be like going to Washington, D.C. and not stopping at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
2. Royal Observatory Greenwich and the Prime Meridian. Standing on both the Western and Eastern hemispheres at the same time and (speaking of time) visiting the place where the measure begins each day. I’m there. Well, if I have time. Get it?
3. Cambridge University. I feel smarter just typing it.
4. Tate Modern. Two words: Art innovation. I fell in love with this museum when I saw the Shibboleth installation. Essentially, it is a crack in the floor. What a risk to take in interpretation and expense.
5. Tower Bridge. In my most sing-songy voice. London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down. It’s a child’s nursery rhyme fantasy come to life.
6. London Eye. It’s a big, expensive, long queued ferris wheel. Can’t wait.
7. Westminster Abbey. So much of the nation’s history has been made here. And it’s the burial spot of one of my favorite poets: Rudyard Kipling. “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / And treat those two impostors just the same. ”
8. The Sun. I’ve never been inside a “tabloid” newspaper’s newsroom. I wonder is it any different? I’d settle for the Guardian though.
9. Globe Theater. Home to the plays of the bard. Williams Shakespeare has been such an influence on our language. It would be awesome to see and hear one of his works here.
10. And last but not least. It will be my honor to meet Lionel Morrison, OBE. A pioneer and icon of journalism in London, especially when it comes to diversity (We actually have scheduled an interview). He literally wrote the book on blacks and media in Britain. By the way, the OBE is a royal designation meaning Order of the British Empire. They don’t just give those to anybody.
So, that’s my list. Any suggestions for other places to go; maybe you’ve been there. We can talk about when I get back . . . over tea.