In my college years, I had the opportunity to spend one semester at the University of Canterbury as an exchange student. Together with a couple of other girls we wanted to see at least some of London’s famous highlights, so we crossed the Channel a few days before school started. We got off at Victoria station, practically overwhelmed with being far away from home and alone… I remember a moment of disappointment seeing how ordinary the inside of the station was, right where we got off. I think I expected some magnificent view immediately, like the Parliament or Westminster Abby, or at least Nelson’s statue in Trafalgar Square.
My disappointment vanished as quickly as it appeared; we did have the opportunity to visit practically all of London’s famous spots, including Madame Tussaud’s, although the tickets cost a fortune compared to our tiny student budgets. But wax figures were such an extraordinary attraction that we did not mind; oh well, we’ll just eat plain bread and drink water for a couple days. It was all well worth the effort.
I still have occasional dreams which involve walking in London’s streets, amongst its beautiful architecture, especially near Westminster Abbey. With all these memories, I couldn’t possibly tell you where we stayed – it was definitely within walking distance from the station; I still can see the wheels of our suitcases rolling noisily on the sidewalk. It was some sort of bed and breakfast place which my friends had figured out somehow.
It all happened before the internet era. Now it would be so easy to find accommodations like some London apartments – an example being the one that the visitors can rent from Robert and Polly Arnold, who are Londoners and, having lived in this city all their lives, they have vast knowledge of Central London sights and locations, which they can help their customers with.
Nowadays handy websites take the aggravation out of finding suitable London apartments, which makes the visit hassle-free ad relaxing; and I am really hoping that one day we will be able to go back and revisit the places I saw decades ago, and find some new special ones!