Every traveller has their own opinions about the great city of London and there are countless articles, blogs and videos on the best places to visit, eat and stay. Since you already know where to go and what to see, I’ll insead let you in on my bizzare, unexpected thoughts and opinions I believe you should know before you visit London.
The Tube is a tourist site.
Agree with me or not, anyone can admit the tube, what “Londoners” call their subway, is a surprising experience the first time around. And the second time. And maybe the third. My point is the tube is fast and takes corners at a speed which twists your stomach into knots and isn’t untied until you place your feet on the sturdy station platform. Are trains meant to feel like they’re bouncing? Does gravity exist inside the subway tunnels? Who knows, but the science defying subway is definitely an unexpected experience that I’ll oddly never forget.
Chips for breakfast.
A breakfast, or ‘fry up’, in London, perhaps all of England consists of 5 main ingredients. Toast, egg, bacon, baked beans and hashbrowns. But often the hashbrowns are substituted with chips. They’re technically exactly the same thing aren’t they?
When I sat down and ordered my first meal of the day at eight in the morning I was genuinely stunned to see I had chips, or fries as some call it, next to my toast and eggs. I honestly felt like a naughty child feeling guilty for eating chips at breakfast and thought, well, mum and dad are thousands of kilometres away and also I’m 22 years old. Remember to dip them in the egg like soldiers and live your best adult life.
They don’t know what Lemon, Lime and Bitters is.
Or a vodka raspberry! My friend and I enjoy each of these drinks and were rightly shocked to find that they had no idea what they were. We taught a girl at the bar how to make a lemon, lime and bitters with a shot of vodka and on her first attempt, it wasn’t terrible. Don’t expect to show up and have ‘the usual’. It doesn’t exist anymore.
We then vowed to venture outside our comfort zones so I ordered a vodka lemonade instead.
Don’t expect a decent meal from the pub.
Strictly drinking locations! Pubs in Australia are the classic places to drink with mates and have a decent feed. Pubs in London are similar minus the decent feed.
After craving a proper meal after 20 hours of flight food, the search was desperate. Our seemingly flawless knowledge of good food places didn’t help us in London. We ate at a good looking pub near our hostel and ordered what seemed to be microwaved lasagna and pie.
We should have gone to the pizza place over the road with all the 20 something year olds. But we didn’t. Lesson learnt.
Visit Jack the Ripper.
It’s human nature to try and understand the minds of serial killers and joining a ‘Jack the Ripper’ tour was worth every cent. The tour delves into the violent Whitechapel murders at East end in grizzly detail. If you get lucky, you’ll get a passionate tour guide who puts his whole essence into his performance while having a lovely walk through the London outer suburbs. I definitely suggest giving yourself time to leave the bigger landmarks of the city and venture into the unknown where human nature is questioned.
I’m sure I had many, many more unexpected thoughts throughout my time in London and I’m sure I’m not the only one. As I go along on my journey I’ll share more unexpected thoughts and opinions on major cities and landmarks and hope my musings are relatable to you.