Europe

A New Year in London for the Newbie


 

As an avid traveler and lover of new destinations and experiences, there was no way I could call myself well- traveled without popping over to Good Ol’ J.O.E (Jolly Old England).

The questions that flooded my mind were:

If the many statues and other representatives of religious art could talk, what would they share?

Could the city founders imagine that within a few centuries London would have been the seat of an empire?

Deciding that the last question was the only one of importance and it would be answered in short order; I set off to see what “trouble” I could get myself into while armed with my favorite pack of Kale Crips.

After hopping on the tube and using the underground system, I found myself downtown with a beautiful day, open skies and not a cloud in site. The usual weather association with England is that it is a wet, damp place where the rain is falling continually but thankfully, today was a great day to be out.

Of course, given the sprawling metropolitan that London is today, there were many persons going about their daily routine with not a care in the world. I was feeling a bit famished after the long journey getting here so the first bit of London I was pleased to experience was the food.

Open only once a year is the Winter Wonderland attraction which has fun for the entire family. As can be expected, there were bright and beautiful lighting arrangements everywhere! It was approaching the hour to visit the famous Oxford Street and I had to visit it in the most British way possible, via a black cab of course.

A quick zip over to Oxford and Regent Streets revealed the most interesting surprise; there are also huge American football fans over here! The famous saying of “when in Rome” applies here when it comes to soccer versus football and American football. What an American calls soccer, is called football in most other parts of the world. The term “American football” describes a sport somewhat related to the British sport of rugby. In any case, the reach and influence of the National Football League are truly international.

With the dawn of a new day comes a new chance to see some more sites of the city.

Being in one of the world’s fashion capitals gave me a brilliant idea; being in London means having access to that one unicorn of fashion, reasonable priced but great makeup. Another quick cab ride brought me to Harrods which is a luxury department store own by the state of Qatar.

Stepping inside I had only one mission and this was to visit the makeup counter. The great thing about visiting a location like Harrods definitely has to be the service; I was the recipient of a free yet professional makeup application session from the world famous Yves Saint Laurent.

Continuing the journey in Harrods did result in another victory -great gift ideas and finds.

Before the Tea Party of 2006, there was the Boston Tea Party of 1773 which resulted in the American Revolution. Thinking on this throwback in history, I decided to get a premium selection of what quintessentially represents what it means to be British.

Finally, New Years’ Day came and with it came the pomp and pageantry one would expect from the British Isle. Paradoxically, not many persons were present for the celebration but it was their loss.

 

Author bio: Rana Tarakji is an entrepreneur and contributing writer at Styelrail, a lifestyle and career blog, as well as Sataco, a company that specializes in rewinding and balancing generators in Lebanon.


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