The City, squished between the happening West End and the East End where I live these days, incorporates St Paul’s Cathedral, Bank of England, College of Arms and Monument for sightseeing, but generally this area is full of hot shot lawyers, bankers, and high rollers, not tourists. Therefore, the weekend leaves it empty. So I decided to take a walk through it last weekend.
It was eerie walking around these deserted streets, among tall grey/white buildings - It’s a ghost town. It felt like one of those movies where everyone has died from a deadly plague and there are only a few remaining people wandering aimlessly, i.e. Have you ever seen The Stand or 28 Days Later?? It was like that just minus the dead decaying bodies. It was certainly worth walking through. Although most buildings are a bleak grey/white stone I don’t find it depressing as the architecture is beautiful. Spotted on street corners or decorating buildings are dragons, lions and griffons which gives a little magic to this business area. Quaint gardens are hidden in little corners of the buildings adding to the enchantment. It was a pleasant and refreshing walk.
Without much warning I had stepped out of The City and into The West End. All of a sudden I had to share the pavement with a multitude of tourists, excusing myself constantly as I squeezed past. The West End is where you will find Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Oxford Street, Trafalgar Square, Soho, an endless array of theatres and plenty more. My serenity was shattered though my spirits were still high as there was a vibe of excitement and laughter.
I headed to Covent Garden where there is always something happening. People crowd around street performers and buskers, clapping at their antics. I stand at the back to watch; worried that if I go too close they may pull me into their act like I’ve seen them do to other people. I checked out the markets and shops, and realise if I’m not careful I could spend a fortune there.
The buildings in The West End are totally different than those in The City. They vary in size, shape, colour and are overall more welcoming. There are some very impressive buildings such as the National Gallery, British Museum, and several of the theatres but also there are the simple residential town houses and illuminated shop fronts.
I can’t say whether I preferred walking through The City or The West End, both had their appeal. What I can say is that I’m looking forward to spending more time in both and taking my camera next time.