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Skylarking In London

A street entertainer performing in Covent Garden, London. This covered market is a popular destination for tourists.

A street entertainer performing in Covent Garden, London. This covered market is a popular destination for tourists.

FROM FIRST TO LIFELONG IMPRESSIONS | Darrin Henry

London is the most popular tourist city in the world with more than 18 million flocking to the UK’s capital each year.

The city that never sleeps is New York’s nickname, I know, but I think it applies just as much here; there are people out and about in London at all hours, and by day especially, the city centre is teeming.

During our summer visit we’ve been stopping random pedestrians to find out what brings them to London. Everyone thus far have been quite happy to share their story (see part 1 and part 2). Today we’ve got two different perspectives on London.

Lynn, KC and Daniel

Lynn, KC and Daniel are Chinese. Lynn and KC have just arrived early this morning from Singapore, their very first time in London, here for a two week visit.

Lynn, KC and Daniel.

Lynn, KC and Daniel.

“It’s awesome,” said KC and Lynn about what they have seen so far, “we like the weather, it’s cool; in Singapore it is so hot.” Today it’s 20 deg, summer is just getting started. “We’re looking forward to seeing the buildings and sights of London and experiencing the culture. First impressions, it’s calm, quiet; Singapore is so busy compared to here.”

Dog walking along the pebble shores of the River Thames, in London, at low tide.

A quiet moment in the heart of the city – dog walking along the pebble shores of the River Thames, in London, at low tide.

The colour of the street.

The street colours of London.

Lynn and KC are visiting the third member of the group, Daniel, who is studying business management at Coventry City University. “Coventry is great, but the roads and roundabout system can be difficult to understand. A lot of people get stuck in Coventry and find it hard to get out!”

Esther and Oge

Further along the river bank we encounter two young ladies, chatting away, strolling the narrow cobblestone side streets.

Esther and Oge.

Esther and Oge.

Esther is London born and bred and has always lived here. She is a student, studying “English with creative writing.”

It’ll be interesting to know what a Londoner thinks about what makes the city is so popular. “What’s so great is that London has everything in it,” says Esther. “As you can see we’re just standing next to the museum which is right next to gourmet burger kitchen, it’s totally random! We have so many sights and just different things that you may want to do to get different cultural experiences and have a great day out.”

A visitor takes a moment in London's Tate Modern art gallery.

A visitor takes a moment in London’s Tate Modern art gallery.

Office workers on lunch break enjoying London's architecture in the summer sun.

Office workers on lunch break enjoying London’s architecture in the summer sun.

Oge has also always lived in London and agrees with her friend. “You can get a different taste of the world here, so Indian, African food… everything in London.”

Oge works part time as an administrator for the British Red Cross and also in a support centre.

The girls got to know each other through church. “We’re Christians and met going to a church called ‘Expressions of Worship’ that’s where we became friends, but we no longer go there,” explains Esther.

“Today we just went out to eat, we’ve just come back from breakfast club, now we’re just walking around London, skylarking and enjoying the weather,” laughs Oge, and off they go.

London, the most popular city in the world for tourists.

London, the most popular city in the world for tourists.

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