In last weeks’ blog I was going on about the fact that we probably attribute too much importance at times to far away destinations and not enough to the ones that are located closer to home. perhaps the best example of this phenomenon is London. London is one of the world’s great capitals with more than enough history, culture, architecture and attractions to last a lifetime and yet how well do we really know it? I’ve probably been to London at least 40 or 50 times over the course of the past 30 years but nearly all of those trips have been business-related with the result that I although I know the city well, I have rarely experienced it as a tourist. Indeed, I have only ever once spent a few days (three to be precise!) in London, engaged in what could be loosely called tourist activities and that was as recently as five years ago.
I was back over in London earlier this week on some business and my host invited me to a show in the West End. Jersey Boys tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and it is an amazing show, as you’d expect from a West End production. As the theatre was located in Soho, we also had a meal in a small Sicilian restuarant there and I have to tell you that the place was just buzzing with people and with atmosphere. As most of you know, large cities such as London tend to enjoy their own self-sustaining economies with the result that you rarely, if ever, get the sense of there being a recession there. I had forgotten what a great destination it was and I’ve made a promise to myself to go back there soon and experience all those tourist attractions that to date, I’ve only ever experienced vicariously through TV programmes and documentatries.
Yes, it is an expensive city but it is still possible to do it on the cheap by getting the first flight in on Day 1 and the last flight out on Day 2 so you only get caught for one nights accommodation and can easily pack all your necessities into a cabin bag!
Samuel Johnson famously remarked that ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’
I would tend to agree.