"London Snow Day" London Travelogue by cpiers47
London Travel Guide: 23,694 reviews and 50,465 photos
I absolutely love seeing a city on a unique day: Florence at Easter, a Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC, Vienna during the Euro Cup last summer... There's something really special about seeing a city on a day when on a relative few can say the same thing.
Last Monday in London was just one of those days. A snowstorm like Southern England hasn't seen in a long time descended upon the city. Many things - Tube, bus, train, stores, shut down almost completely. We spent the day as we'd planned: shopping, exploring Notting Hill and eating amazing food.
Most of the houses we passed on our trip were still snowed in. Some people had ventured out to clear their steps or brush off their cars, but most people seemed to take the safe, warm move and stayed inside.
It made for beautiful shots of unblemished snowscapes.
Even the tourists' favorite photo opportunities were different that day. The red buses traveled down slush-covered roads, the black cabs had a fine cover of the white stuff and the brightly colored phone booths were crested with snow.
Hyde Park was full of people sledding and skiing, and - at least in the morning - the city had an energy that was entirely unique, entirely unlike anything I'd felt in a long time. That was because the entire city felt a little like the first big snowday in elementary school.
Upon our arrive into the heart of the city from our hotel in Westminster, we walked from Oxford Street to Notting Hill Gate. The sidewalks were white, disintegrating into slush as the morning moved on. Our boots tried, but weren't up to the challenge, so our cold feet were the first reminder that there was more to the day than fluffy whiteness!
As we walked, we laughed and talked. This sort of day is best shared with someone delightful!
As we walked, there was the chance to see into the real lives of Londoners. Of course, I'd like to say that Londoners don't seem overly clear on snowball etiquette. Instead of tossing good-natured lobs at friends and family, a few Londoners seemed to find it entertaining to hide on balconies and toss armfuls of snow on unsuspecting passersby. They seemed to target the more obvious tourists...anyone pulling a suitcase was fair game. Thankfully, we avoided that!
Suddenly. those wellies seemed like a good purchase! Watching Londoners enjoy the day was one of the best things. It was seeing a city through such different eyes!
Of course, when in London, one must have afternoon tea. We'd had big plans, but ended up combining tea with...lunch. In Notting Hill - having searched for Hugh Grant at The Travel Bookshop - we found an amazing organic restaurant and settled in to rest and dry off a bit.
Later, we went for Moroccan food with another friend, settling into the warmth of the restaurant with relief only matched when we were finally back in our warm, dry hotel that night.
The best part - the things that made the cold feet a mere nuisance - was that I spent that day completely filled with joy. Not only was I on vacation in an amazing city, in the company of a wonderful friend, but I had the promise of an exiting future!
Monday's "Snow Day" followed Sunday's "New Job Day" as I was offered - and accepted - a position teaching in Trieste, Italy. Before it was a place where I could relax and enjoy, London was the site of a fairly grueling 3-day job fair. So, to wander the city, knowing that even after returning home I was on an amazing adventure, was a fantastic feeling. Doing that on a snow day just made it all the more lovely.
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