The second is the atmosphere soaker-upper. Their perfect day involves grabbing a coffee, drifting around city streets, eating lunch in a park and chilling there for the rest of the afternoon. They’re not concerned about how many of the world’s masterpieces they see, whether or not they make it to the top of the Eiffel Tower or how impressed their friends will be with stories of Henry VIII’s torture techniques (FYI, one involves your foot, an iron boot, wood, hot oil and fire. The result? A boiled off appendage, gangrene and an agonising death. Pleasant.)
I fall into the former category, Ted is one of the latter. It’s an electric combo. Me: “We’ve been sitting here for two hours. I’ve got three art galleries to see today!” Ted: “just relax bro, we’ll get there.” I’ve sort of learnT to curb my excessive lists entitled “things to see before departure – we may never come back”, and Ted’s sort of come to grips with holiday timetables.
But London is one place where compromise won’t be necessary. Because I’ve been here before! And, being the box ticker that I am, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral: all done. While Ted meanders his way around them, I’ll go to my “B” list entitled “We lost a good man: things I ran out of time for last year.”
The B file looks rather like that of an atmosphere soaker-upper (except that they don’t make lists). Here’s a city in which you can live 10 years and not see everything. But this time I won’t attempt to transform a chip-scoffing, smartphone-toting crowd into a malnourished and blood-baying one as I time-travel back to Anne Boleyn’s treason trial at the Tower of London.
Nope, I’ll fair revel in the present day rowdiness. First on my list is Olympic mania. Walking the streets and checking out Hyde Park should do it. Any type of food and drink consumption with friends comes next, and then, nothing! It’s an unnatural admission, but I just want to see where the days take me (let me know if you have any suggestions though).
For a box ticker, revisiting a place is liberating and perhaps the only way to experience travel from the converse perspective.
Do you fit a particular travelling type? And do you revisit old haunts in a different way to your first time?
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