Before I came to London, I always spent my weekends walking around the old quarters in my capital city, trying to capture the normal life around me. I loved to walk, which seemed to be an abnormal thing to do when we all had motobikes that could literally take us everywhere (mine is a Piaggio, but still, I enjoyed walking).
When I came here, along with the excitement about the fact that I would have a chance to use the tube, the double-decked red buses, I was also looking forward to…yeah, sounds weird, but…to walk around London streets.
Knowing that, one day, my friend asked me to walk along the Thames river side with her from Canada Water to Westminster tube station (ya! Look at the map, then you’ll see how far it is). I nodded immediately without any hesitation.
And I was not disappointed.
It took about an hour to walk from my friend’s house in Canada Water to the London Eye but the thing was, I did not feel tired at all. Because along the way I did notice so many interesting things that kept my mind busy: beautiful cafes standing along side with restaurants, ice-cream vans, young street performers, some groups of school girls sitting on the ground, chit-chating about their school, tourists with selfie sticks (I even met a couple from Korea and had a chance to “brag” about my Korean language major in Uni. also. Lame!). Very colorful and lively!
While walking, there were a few times the road was blocked so we had to turn and walk through the neighborhoods but that actually became another interesting experience to me. I had a chance to eye-witness the architecture of many old-but-not-that-old buildings with vintage walls built with dark brown or dark red-ish bricks. I also felt amazed when seeing an old port but now turned into a shopping mall with many shops inside it.
But the thing that could hold my steps a little bit longer was this – an outdoor book shop. Actually that was not even a shop, it was just a couple of tables being placed next to each other with loads and loads of books on top, but it got me. I spent nearly half an hour just walking along tables after tables with my finger running along the books’ titles without looking up.
Many people were just like me. We seemed to finally find out what our hide-out would be when we felt exhausted (well actually it’s hard to hide when you’re outdoors). We seemed willing to push aside who ever we were with or what ever we were doing, just to get lost in the world of crimes, romance, thriller, adventures happening in that 10-square-meter place. The books might be not as cheap as I expected (normally 50% off), but I did have a good time.
It did remind me that sometimes you don’t need to know exactly where your final destination is. You just need to make yourself feel like to walk. Then let your foot lead the way. I am sure even if you’re not getting to the final spot, you will still get something along the way.
That was what I got today. I got really busy just by walking along the Thames river.