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"Stopping at the Tower on a..." London Tourist Trap Tip by oja

London Tourist Traps: 437 reviews and 353 photos


<center><font size=+1><B>Stopping at the Tower on a Sunny Afternoon
<font size=2>A Discoursive Essay</B>

The Tower of London is one of those places which are bound to bring up the philosopher in you - that is, if you're not there with an organised group who bought tickets far in advance. As you consider queueing with 2000 other visitors (1998 of these are foreign) AND paying enormous 12 pounds to be shown Crown Jewels, you definitely start wondering about the intimate, subjective value of these. OK, the guy in the camp said it was worth it, but - what does it mean? Will you reach a higher level of existence if you cast a glance at them? Will you be astounded by their beauty so as to be moved by it and carry it with you wherever you may roam? How much astonishment IS a 12-pound worth? And how long will it last?
As you move by another half inch (which takes an equal amount of hours) you ponder upon the meaning of the so-called must-sees. Like, you can't go to Paris without mounting the Eiffel Tower, right? Or be in Berlin and NOT see it from the bird perspective of the Fernsehenturm. Another quarter inch. Another quarter of an hour. The length of the queue in front of you is terrifying. And 12 pounds could buy you two nights in the Tent City. Six Guinnesses. A dozen paperback classics, if you look hard enough. Heck, what does it mean to climb landmarks? Is this a valid criterion to measure the degree of visiting a place? Or is it just a means of filling time gaps for those who don't have any better or more original ideas of how to spend their precious time there? Hmmm. You grin, you look into the unusually blue sky. And it's then that it dawns on you what sin you're committing. There's sun, and you're trying to get to a murky cellar. There are places to be discovered by you and you alone, and you're trying to crowd somewhere everybody else tries to crowd.
<BR>Another grin, much broader this time. And before you realise, you're off. Heading for the nearby park to stretch out your legs, lean back and watch people who happen to be especially interesting right then. Every tourist has been to the Tower and looked at the Crown Jewels. But nobody sat on this very bench watching those very people. And it's then that you know it was worth coming, if only for that.

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 25, 2002
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