A few months ago, I gave my mom a La Sardina (the Mobius version) and she fell in love with it at first sight. This article documents how she saw London during her first visit there through her "analog" eyes.
This year I’ve managed to bring my parents to London for 3 days, while they were visiting for a week and a half around mid-June. My parents are still living in Portugal, where I was born and grew up. Nowadays, I’m living in Belgium and once or twice a year, they come to spend some time with me. This time I thought it would be nice to introduce them to London. They’ve never been to London before so I was curious to show them around and give them an impression of a city that is becoming so familiar to me nowadays.
In early March, my mom received her La Sardina (the Mobius version) in the mail and has been trying to become comfortable with it. Of course she brought the camera with her and I was definitely curious to see what photos she would take while in London. So most of the photos in this article were taken by her. I’ll be just adding one or two of my own.
We headed to London through the Eurostar on a early Monday morning. My parents were really excited to travel on the Eurostar, and going through the Channel Tunnel. My brother keeps teasing them the days before their trip to London saying that they would have to wear oxygen masks when were going through the tunnel, otherwise they couldn’t breathe.
We arrived in St. Pancras Station and both my parents started taking photos of everything. My mom with her La Sardina and my father with a digital camera. It was amusing to seem them side by side taking photos, almost like a competition to see who would take the best photo of the same object.
After dropping our luggage at the hotel, we headed to the British Museum. My parents are not usually into visiting museums, but I thought it would be nice to bring them to the British Museum, because of its impressive and diverse collection, focused on human history and culture. And the building is simply gorgeous.
After spending around 2 hours in the British Museum, my parents were getting tired and we decided to go do some shopping around Oxford Street. My mom joked about the British Museum: “There’s nothing I can buy here! It’s all broken statues and blocks of rock…”. After doing some shopping, we walked down through Regent Street to Piccadilly, and we sat for a while on the steps under the statue of Anteros having a snack. In one of the advertising boards they were showing the score of the soccer match (from the Euro 2012) between Portugal and the Netherlands, and my mom found it so cool she couldn’t resist a photo of it.
After regaining our strength, we walked a bit further to Trafalgar Square. As always it was full of people. I wanted to show my parents the National Gallery, but when we got there it was already too late, it had closed a few minutes before.
While we were walking back to our hotel, we found the M&Ms shop and we just had to go in. It is an incredibly fun shop to visit. Everything has reference to British culture, icons, and history with an M&Ms twist to it.
On the second day, I brought my parents to the Kew Gardens. I knew it would be a great contrast from the busy and hectic London, and they always loved to relax and visit parks and gardens that I thought it was a good idea. They loved it! We ended up spending the whole day there. My mom shot 3 rolls of films that day. It was impressive. She couldn’t stop taking photos. I could write a whole article about our visit there.
On the third and last day of our visit to London, I took them through a typical touristic route. We started by Buckingham Palace. The whole area was so packed of people because of the Changing of the Guards, that we gave up taking photos there and kept walking through St. James Park ’til Westminster Abbey and the Palace.
Once we arrived there, my mom tried to take the classic photos of the Big Ben, Victoria Tower, and Westminster Abbey.
Then we just walked over to the South River Bank, stopped for lunch, visited briefly the Tate Modern Museum, crossed the river at the Millennium Bridge, and finished by walking up to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
And we headed back to St. Pancras to take the Eurostar back home to Belgium. Our feet were dead tired but we had enjoyed greatly our time in London.
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