Today’s guest post comes from the ever-eloquent, always-enthusiastic Kathakoli who used to live here in Delhi, but is now based in the UK.
And, Katha dearest, this post made me SO nostalgic, since I have run that exact same loop quite a few times.
My sister lives in that part of town, so whenever I am visiting her I run around that spectacular part of London, glorying in the historic sights and running past the Tower of London and across Tower Bridge, just like you did, and, also (just like you!!) acting like a kid under London Bridge!!
Lovely lovely post, & I am so glad that London seemed more upbeat this time. We all need normality back, as you say 😊
Here is the lady herself, in her own eloquent words:
“This is our second trip to London since Covid restrictions have been eased.
When we came here about 2 months back, the buzz that is intrinsic to the city was only just reappearing. People were still tentative, as were we.
This time round though, it has been different.
Let’s Do London posters, a consumer recovery campaign, aimed to attract visitors, are everywhere.
Most UK residents are choosing staycations over foreign holidays, and London seems to be a popular destination. The atmosphere is upbeat and inviting. Shops, pubs, restaurants are thriving; armed with double jabs, people are mingling once again.
Even chats with complete strangers are not so uncommon anymore. (Though international tourists are still eerily missing.)
A friend perceptively pointed out during this visit that people seemed happy in the city.
Yesterday, for example, during a touristy visit to Tower of London (I saw the Kohinoor Diamond, which is still a sore spot for all us Indians.), I found flash mobs in and around the complex at regular intervals, drawing the crowds in with their cheerful music.
So this morning’s run was dedicated to this fantastic city.
I ran from our hotel (near Shoreditch), through the Square Mile (London’s trading and finance hub), past the Museum of London and St Paul’s Cathedral.
I crossed the river on the Millennium Bridge, ran along the Thames as I went past The Globe (where we watched As You Like it only a few days back), then past Southwark Cathedral, under the London Bridge (deliberately stepping on the musical strip to hear the song).
Then along the Thames again, this time making sure to appreciate the Tower of London’s imposing presence back in the day.
Finally, up on Tower Bridge, where I paused to reflect. While I have run along and around the river on many occasions, it was only my second time running on Tower Bridge. Last time it was literally a few of weeks before the country (and the world) went into lockdown—when we did the London Half.
That morning at the race we had heard that the Paris Marathon was cancelled owing to Covid. I don’t think any of us comprehended then how serious and drawn out the problem would be.
One and a half years on, Covid is still part of our everyday vocabulary.
As I ran back through Bank to our hotel, Monday morning rush hour was evident. And if anything, it was reassuring. (During our last trip, office areas like Bank were empty.)
Things are looking up.
Normality is returning, slowly, but surely.“
LOVELY post, Katha. I felt I was running through my most favourite part of London with you 🙂