London is a great place. Contrary to popular belief this is not some feeble attempt at plagiarising advertising copy from other major cities in the world.
Bad times and good, I have lived and worked in London through them all.
From the bad old days and the darkest hours of the terrorist bombing campaigns of the Provisional IRA in the 70s and 80s to the good times when the announcement was made that London had been awarded the 2012 Olympics and the Queens Jubilee. London has had the experience and gravity to treat both with equal respect.
I remember travelling through London to return home to Northern Ireland where I now live on the day the news broke that Princess Diana had tragically been killed in a car accident in Paris. The sense of grief and shock were overwhelming as total strangers just blindly made their way to Kensington Palace to lay flowers at the peoples memorial. Then at the other end of the spectrum you have London the day of the Live 8 Festival in Hyde Park where the city centre was brought to a standstill with blaring rock music belting out across the entire City Centre.
London is full of History. History that it would appear that most Londoners take for granted.
The changing of the guard is a perfect example of this sort of thing.Betty and Phil insist that this happens daily at their place at the end of the mall. OK I should be slightly less flippant. I am of course referring to Buckingham Palace, home of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh found at the end of the Mall. Tradition is such that occasionally it gets altered and none more so than when after the awful events of 911 the band of the guards performed the Star-Spangled Banner in front of visiting American tourists instead off the traditional God Save the Queen.
Perhaps the significance of this passed most of the on looking tourist by but it was a first in living memory that any other national anthem other than the United Kingdoms own God Save the Queen had been performed at the Changing of the Guards ceremony.
Perhaps it is little incidences like these that sum up exactly what a rich cornucopia of the historic and modern, the city of London actually is. Unlike other major international capital cities, London may lack perhaps the historic grandeur of the Parthenon in Athens or the Coliseum in Rome but through out London you will find examples of perhaps a more modern architecture (though no less splendid and impressive) such as the mother of all parliaments, the Houses of Parliament in Westminster or the serenity of St Pauls Cathedral a survivor of many centuries and in many ways every bit as impressive now as in the days of its design under the architect Sir Christopher Wren.
If nothing else the building of St Pauls Cathedral is a testament to survival itself having both survived the Great Fire of London in the 16th Century and then four hundred years later the Blitz in World War II.
Perhaps this encompasses the overall appeal of London, the historic blend of the old and the new.
There is absolutely no way a visit to London will disappoint