I have been lucky enough to travel far and wide during my lifetime. Perhaps being born in South Africa and voyaging across the Indian Ocean to a new life in Australia when I was only 2 years old firmly planted the travel-bug seed in me? No matter how it began, travelling is what puts the twinkle in my eye and the spring in my step.
It was a first for me, however, to be alone in a foreign country, this February. Not as daunting as it sounds, I only travelled from France to London on the Eurostar by myself for a short stay, in order to attend a job interview of all things.
Alas, I was unsuccessful in landing the job (I don’t think they understood my lifestyle), but I did have the fantastic experience of being alone in London. Now that’s not something I do every day!
I found a neat little hotel a short walk from Paddington underground station (and just one street away from lots of eateries, although mostly the big breakfast at the hotel and a late lunch on the run was plenty for me)…
and once the interview was over and done, I set about enjoying my few days alone in this fabulous city.
So what’s a girl to do on her own? Shop of course! I think I went into every single shoe shop in Oxford Street and beyond in search of the perfect pair of boots.
Those boots were definitely made for walking, and that’s just what I did:
A stroll through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park…
en route to a cultural visit to the fabulous Victoria & Albert Museum.
Took a cruise down the River Thames to Greenwich.
And although it’s a bit of a hike up to the Royal Observatory…
it’s worth it, if only for the panoramic view of London.
For me it was a chance to cross something off my bucket list when I straddled the Prime Meridian (and you don’t even have to pay to access this area, situated outside the Meridian Courtyard).
And I patiently waited to watch the red Time Ball rise and drop at precisely 1pm.
I enjoyed some fascinating interactive displays in the Astronomy Centre (again, free) and even more so, the inspiring exhibition of amateur photography.
I toyed with the idea of going to Jamie Oliver’s Italian Restaurant, but opted instead for the atmosphere of Greenwich Market where you are spoilt for choice with flavoursome food from all over the world.
I hope to return to London next year. Maybe then, better prepared, I might just land a job and be able to earn money on the “right side of the world” – closer to our beloved Argenton-sur-Creuse in France.
Now wouldn’t that be love-a-lee?