There’s something about London that moves me.
Maybe it was the friendliness of the vendors at Borough Market. The samples of cheese, pastries, tea. Maybe it was that Borough Market is nestled under a train station and had some of the coolest and most colorful architecture of any market I’d ever seen.
Maybe it was eating a breakfast of Chelsea Buns in a tiny garden next to Southwark Cathedral, a stone’s throw away from the market. A Chelsea bun is England’s form of a cinnamon bun, but is created with currant as it originated before the spice of “cinnamon” was introduced into England.
Was it was the sunny sky that greeted us at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich? From there, we had views of all of London – from St. Paul’s Cathedral in the far distance to the Queen’s House right down at the other end of the park.
Or perhaps it was the magic of the Evensong choral prayer at Westminster Abbey. The beauty of this famed church was magnified a thousand fold by the choir. Or maybe it was the chance encounter with an old friend from college in the same Abbey at the same time as us. It was one of those funny coincidences in life.
Could it be the quaintness of sitting down to tea as an afternoon snack? For 13£ we had unlimited refills of English Breakfast tea (which should be served with milk) and finger sandwiches (smoked salmon and butter, tomato and cheese, cucumber and butter, and egg salad), scones with clotted cream and jam, and dessert.
Or maybe it was arriving at Covent Garden early Sunday morning to see the market waking up. The vendors were just starting to set up shop; there’s something inherently peaceful about watching the calm before the storm. There was hardly anyone else at Covent Garden; it was me, my camera, and the proprietors unloading their trucks, spreading their wares out decoratively.
Was it the amazing pieces of art hung in the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square? Van Gogh’s famous “Sunflowers” piece is displayed there; this painting is full of yellows to symbolize friendship and hope. It was painted for Van Gogh’s friend Gauguin. Maybe it was these emotions that I felt in London.