There are plenty of blog posts calling out on “how to travel”, on “how to not be a tourist”, on the “tourist vs. traveler” public discussion (I had no idea there was one until I started travel blogging). I call it bullshit. Traveling is about creating your memories, experiencing a place for the first time with your eyes (and heart), so what if you’re doing what hundreds of other people are doing? Is it them in the picture? No. It’s you. So own it. If it makes you feel better: I, the lover of the offbeat events and side streets, have done some pretty touristy things in London in this first month (and I’m sure I’ll still do much more). How else could I tell you about the offbeat side of the English capital if I haven’t done the mainstream stuff?
Visiting Tower Bridge
How could I skip this one? Even if it was my second time here and still it was as unexciting as the first time. I think it had something to do with the tourist crowds, not the bridge itself. Maybe I should try one of those 5.00 am visits and explore a sleepy London.
Finding Hilarious Things Anywhere
Besides photographing the yellow words “mind the gap” near the tracks of every tube station (which you TOTALLY must do. Because you have to), I fell in love with the subtle and humorous messages I found in the stations. Of course, they now are kind of ordinary, but back then I thought they were genius! (I kind of still do by the way).
Yes, I know uncle Sherlock was not a real person. Yes, I also know 221B Baker Street didn’t exist at the time Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the books. But living here and not going to visit it? At least the gift shop? So we did. Funny to find a bunch of the same canes as the one I saw for sale in Portobello Road (and that I thought was rare…). I did buy a couple of souvenirs, but none of them was a cane.
Oh, Look! A Tube Station!
London underground began operation in 1863. Eighteen-sixty-three. That’s why I get excited every time I ride the tube. The stations aren’t that beautiful, though, but once in a while, I find one worth taking a picture of (not to mention the collection of random photos of the underground sign I already have by now… not as pretty to share, though).
I’m far from being a “girly girl”, but I was dying to try the afternoon tea. Maybe I have a thing for small pastries and little tea sandwiches. And you know what? I’d do it again!
Photographing Red Telephone Booths
Red public telephone booths are not that rare for me. There are some in Portugal too. But the contrast of these here is worth photographing, especially if you can throw in a little bit of bitching about the weather (I heard it’s kind of a national sport, and I’m becoming really good at it).
What is the most cliche thing you’ve done as a tourist?