When you have a chance to spend an extra day or two in London, you take it. That’s what I’ve always believed about most places and I certainly believe that about one of the Jewels of Europe. I was there on business but found out that my obligations would be ending a day early. My employer gave me the choice of either flying home a day early or keeping the original flight, but if I stayed I’d have to find my own London hotel room. That isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do at the last minute, but I wanted to at least give it a try before heading to the airport. I had been to London before, but had mostly done only the touristy things that everyone does when here. I wanted at least a day to explore the city so that I could get an idea of what it’s like to live here and work here.
I found an app on my phone called HotelTonight. I hadn’t used it before but it was worth a few minutes of my time to see what it had to offer. I searched for London hotels and got a pretty impressive list of choices back. I chose one that looked like it would be a good fit for me and decided to see how difficult the booking process would be. I was amazed, but it wasn’t even close to difficult. I had my hotel room in London booked and confirmed within the few minutes I gave myself to spend looking on HotelTonight. I was all set for a day of exploring this wondrous place.
Central London isn’t necessarily a neighborhood per se, but most people recognize it as basically the equivalent of the downtown area of a major US city. What you notice in this part of town is how condensed everything is. There are people everywhere, like what you would see in New York, and buildings everywhere, but those are nothing like what you would see in New York. There are modern skyscrapers standing along the road next to buildings that are hundreds of years old. What you notice as well is just how friendly people are here. I had experienced that before, but it gave me a good feeling for the rest of my day.
King’s Cross is also near the center of London, and it’s a part of the city that seems to be developing quickly. It has been known for a long time as the home of a major railway station, but there’s a lot more happening there now. Businesses seem to be popping up and occupying the growing number of office buildings, and restaurants seem to be following in order to serve the working professionals. I noticed a café nearby that looked inviting, what with the tasty treats in the window and the smell of that famous English coffee. I stopped in and had a cup and a snack, as it was a perfect way for me to take a little break before moving on with my exploration.
I headed out towards the western part of the city for my next stop. Mayfair is clearly a very affluent area, and you notice certain things that are different about it. For instance, I didn’t see any beer pubs in Mayfair, but I did see wine bars and lounges that specialize in scotch. I also saw a few restaurants, and I was more than ready for lunch. I stopped in at one and ordered the quintessential English meal of bangers and mash, which is basically pork sausages stacked on top of mashed potatoes. It was delicious, and given the girth of the food involved I was more than full. It was time to do some walking.
What better place to go for a good, brisk walk than in the West End? I strolled around just looking at all of the theater venues and wondered what it would be like to perform here. Aside from being the center of theater here, the West End is an extremely vibrant and lively neighborhood. There were also a lot of shops here, and that was fortunate because I needed to get some gifts for the important people in my life. I did so, and I was on my way to my last stop for the day.
Bloomsbury is not one of those neighborhoods that most people who are not from around here recognize. It’s known as an intellectual center what with all the medical facilities and museums here, but it’s surprisingly laid back. There are also quite a few restaurants here, and I really wanted to try Indian food, as this is the exploding scene in the world of London cuisine. I stopped in at a place and, having been to India, ordered something familiar. I might as well have been right back there, as the food was exquisite.
As I made my way back to my hotel, I was quite happy that I had decided to stay for another day. It gave me an opportunity to see things in London that I hadn’t seen. This city is too big to see in one day or even one trip, so I now had a little better idea of what life is like here. I was also happy that I found HotelTonight, as without it I’m not sure I would’ve found such a nice London hotel so quickly. I looked forward to traveling with HotelTonight in the future.