4 days of a lot of walking and we covered a lot of ground. Old stomping grounds, parts of the city never explored, the usual tourist route through Covent Garden and the West End and a lot in between. Walking a city is the only way to get a feel for it, to soak up it's elements and appreciate it's shiny, shiny surfaces contrasted with the poorer suburbs and the areas they prefer you not to see. London has such a vibe to it that even though I have not lived there for over 10 years, the minute I get off a train, ascend the never ending escalators and hit the streets above the immense underground I am instantly drawn back to a place so familiar that if I concentrate too hard and try to focus on where I am, it feels as though it may all disappear.
As we walked we were reminded of friends, places of employment (some we prefer to forget), clubs and bars we used to frequent. Suburbs and streets where we or friends used to live, places that had mutual meaning in our lives and others that were completely foreign to us.
You either love it and embrace it for all its grittiness, history, grandeur and immense scale or you hate it and want to leave instantly. I doubt I could live there easily again but I do like to visit and to know that it is still there, throbbing away to it's own, unique hum.