We can surely remember the English rhyme, ‘London Bridge is Falling Down,’ or the movie, ‘London Has Fallen.’ We may think of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes or the stories of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Hyde Park. Again those stories read in one breath, like, ‘The Prince and the Popper’ or ‘Oliver Twist’ or ‘The Call of the Wild.’ The background of all these stories was London. Thousands of such stories, dramas, and movies remind us of London. London is one of the world’s largest, most influential, and most vibrant cities. Almost 2000 years old and one of the most diverse cities in the world, London is still one of the most popular and attractive cities. A meeting place of ancient aristocratic buildings and modern architecture, London has a rich collection of nobility, knowledge, philosophy, and science. Like London’s cultural diversity, people’s etiquette also amazes tourists. The lifestyle of this planned city is also tourist friendly. This time I spent one week wandering around London all day and tried to use the time to see as much as possible. To tell my whole story would be an epic poem, so I will keep it short.
Two months ago, when the plans for the Europe tour were floating around in my mind, I thought I would end this tour by spending a week in London. As usual, I applied for the visa, and since I had already traveled to the UK with my family, I easily got a two-year valid visa. The journey to London starts from Lisbon. After finishing my tour in Lisbon, I left for London. Air tickets from Lisbon and hotels in London were already booked. I was overwhelmed with memories beyond words when I set foot in London. However, this was my second visit to London. I went for the first time with my family, including my baby girl, due to which I didn’t get to explore much. The plane landed at Heathrow Airport in London. The first time at immigration, I was not asked much, but this time an elderly female immigration officer thoroughly interrogated me. Why did I come to London for the second time, why did I come without my family this time, how long will I stay, what is the return ticket date, and so on? I answered all the questions correctly and logically, and finally, the officer was satisfied and stamped my passport. Then I left the airport and went straight to the hotel. After checking into the hotel on the first day, I freshened up and took a rest after eating so that I could explore London with total energy from the second day.
London is a beautiful city with a blend of ancient and modern architecture. Visiting the largest city in Western Europe is a unique experience. If I say London in one word, it is a city of beautiful architectural style, skyscrapers, charming bridges, spotless streets, royal-style buildings, and tradition. Full of art, culture, fashion, and entertainment, this city is also an important business and political city of the world. In my opinion, the original Britons are very polite people. While crossing the road, I saw cars automatically stop to give me a side, and when I gave them a chance to a vehicle to go ahead, he waved his hand and thanked me. Their civilization and grandeur are worth remembering. They do not interfere with anyone’s work and never interfere with the freedom of one another. There is no shortage of notable and interesting places to visit in London. It is impossible to see all at once; however, today, I will write about some of the main attractions that a visit to London is meaningless without visiting, which I have explored.
The British Museum: A remarkable landmark of London is the British Museum, which preserves exhibits focusing on human history, art, literature, and culture. It is the UK’s first public museum and one of the largest in the world, housing around 13 million artifacts from people’s cultures worldwide. The globally acclaimed British Museum caters holistically to all areas of human knowledge. The cultures of the world spanning all continents and oceans are brought together under one roof by the British Museum, which has established itself at unique heights. No other museum has previously offered a collection of such depth, breadth, beauty, and significance. With more than eight million permanent artifacts, this museum assists in discovering the extraordinary diversity of human culture, from small communities to vast empires, in various forms and expressions of human life. Besides, since its establishment, the museum has promoted critical inquiry, open debate, scientific research, progress, and tolerance of all assumptions, including ideals and values, of the humanities. It is driven by people’s overwhelming curiosity about the diversity of the world, their deep faith in objects as reliable witnesses and documents of human history, and their desire to expand and share knowledge.
If you go to London and do not visit this British Museum, the trip to London is in vain. Again, if you go here, you should not just take a detour; you should take enough time to explore well. Walking around it, one must be confused about whether it is Egypt or Greece, Rome or China, an Arab country, or ancient India. In the beginning, the physicist Sir Hans Sloane collected more than 40 thousand books, 7 thousand manuscripts, and 337 species of plant remains, but later on, the museum became very rich and continues to be rich. This museum uses innovative technology to view and inform visitors about various collections.
Buckingham Palace: Buckingham Palace in London is one of the most elite royal palaces in the world. The history-tradition and nobility of the palace have given it a particular dimension where many people throng daily for photo sessions. This palace was built for the British royal family’s various royal functions and leisure entertainments. Apart from being a popular tourist destination, Buckingham Palace is an important place for UK national events, a center of hospitality and political activities. Buckingham Palace, a fixture of British culture, has its secrets and history that few people know about. This majestic building has witnessed some of the most critical moments in England’s history.
In front of the palace is a large garden decorated with various eye-catching sculptures, including white stone statues and sculptures of humans and lions. Such attractive gardens or palaces are not open to the public or tourists, and armed guards in big black hats and red robes are inside to ward off unwanted guests. However, during the summer vacation of the royal family, there is an opportunity to see the palace up close.
Hyde Park: Coming out of Buckingham Palace, you will see a large park which is well known and a famous Royal Park in London. Yes, I am talking about Hyde Park, the largest Royal Park in London. The park is a beautiful place with rows of thick trees covering a large area, large fields, wide walkways, and benches for visitors to sit on. People come here not only to walk, some to cycle, some to run, and some to sit on park benches and chat. A huge lake in the park is where flamingos and ducks float peacefully in the water.
Madame Tussauds London: Madame Tussauds is a famous modern museum in London with a massive collection of wax figures of world-famous personalities and most popular film stars. Founded by a French sculptor, Marie Tussaud, the Madame Tussauds Museum is an entertainment venue and tourist attraction in London. Everyone should be surprised when entering this museum. Seeing the lineup of favorite stars makes one’s eyes incredulous. Here you can find the dream star Leonardo DiCaprio, the star of the film world Robert Pattinson, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, and Madhuri Dixit. It is not impossible to find Sherlock Holmes or Spiderman here. You can easily see the scientist Albert Einstein or the world’s best footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. Seeing so many stars together is like a dream. This house of magic that makes dreams come true is known as Madame Tussauds. But these are not flesh-and-blood people; they are dolls made of wax, where after entering, even if you see the real star next to the doll, it is difficult to understand who is human and who is a wax sculpture.
Bangla Town: Many Bangladeshi people live in different London regions and administrative areas. However, the most significant number of Bangladeshis live in East London’s Bricklane. ‘Bangla Town’ is a place in Bricklane inhabited by individuals from the Bangladeshi community where the Bengali language, cultural events, institutions, and commercial activities are developed. It is also the center of the Bengali community living in London. Here the Bengali community takes various initiatives such as preserving cultural regionalism, establishing institutions, middle-class businesses, social organizations, etc.
Moreover, all Bengalis here can express themselves in the Bengali language, receive services from Bengali-owned business establishments, and even children can study in Bengali. Recently, the ‘Bangla Town’ gate and ‘Matir Tan’ mural were inaugurated here. Various Bengali amenities and services are available at Bricklane’s Bangla Town, including Bengali books, specialty shops, restaurants, and other products. Bangla Town London emphasizes social organizations, activities, cultural scenes, and networking events.