Recent uncharacteristic sunny weather and a need to save a few pence have led to a most delightful change of my daily routine: walking to work. Factoring in the time in takes to wait for the bus means that it doesn't take me that much longer to walk from my new flat—a total of 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how leisurely I'm walking. Despite the smorgasbord of other things to do in London, this remains my favorite activity: walking around. (Pubs aren't far behind.) When I'm on the bus, I'm usually burying my nose in a book or wondering where the bum who's always camped out by Liverpool Street Station managed to get such a nice backpack. When I walk, whether I take the more direct route down Bishopsgate and over London Bridge or the more roundabout way through Bethnal Green and over Tower Bridge, it not only gives my nosy, curious self much more time to take it all in, but it allows me to discover things I might not otherwise have found. Some highlights:
-A swarm of Haredi preschool-age kids on some sort of field trip waiting for the bus, on King William Street
-The London offices of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, on Dawson Street
-Oodles of Einesigns visible before shops open in the morning, along Hackney Road and in Bethnal Green
-St. George's German Lutheran Church, in Whitechapel
I don't know what it is about walking, but I sure like it. Maybe it's because of my many good memories that involve walking: strolling with my parents along the path around the pond behind their house; completing the Camino de Santiago with Nick; exploring New York with Adam; shoveling Wendy's french fries into my mouth while stumbling back from Court Street with Laura; hiking along mountain ridges with my relatives in West Virginia.
Walking certainly beats the bus any day—unless, of course, it's raining.