If you have been living in London for a while, you might know some of those things, or even all of them, but according to many opinions that are to be found over travelling forums on the Internet, non-Londoners, and foreign tourists in particular find the following things to be rather curious and even funny:
- There are at least a hundred pubs in London that have been around at least since the 19th All of them claim that Charles Dickens has been a regular and that he even got the inspiration for certain novels of his there. Bearing in mind the reputation that the great Victorian novelist had about his drinking prowess we would not be surprised at all if those claims have something to do with reality.
- The red Routemaster double-decker buses are nowhere to be found in London today. Well, that is not particularly newsworthy, having in mind that the Transport for London retired the iconic double-decker from general service in 2005. Despite this the Routemaster has become an enduring symbol of London and Britain in the mind of foreigners from all over the world and that is still the first thing that comes to mind when they hear about London. Hollywood has much to do with this too – it was just a couple of weeks ago when an authentic Routemaster was blown to pieces as part of the new Jacky Chan film and caused some confusion. Even though Transport for London kept some Routemaster in use for the old time’s sake for a number of years after the official retirement, they completely discontinued the use in 2014 due to lack of patronage.
- Londoners are not as cocky as they say they are. In the past decades the capital has become one of the largest cities in the world. Thousands of people come to live here on a daily basis, and this leads not only to a boom in the business of companies specializing in professional removals, but also to a diversification of the city’s demographics. Londoners today are more open-minded and welcoming to new ideas and cultures than ever before, and to a large extent the reason for that lies in the fact that they live in such a vibrant and colorful scene.
- The traffic is not that bad. Well, this one is a bit surprising, bearing in mind how often we complain about problems with the traffic. It turns out however that London has it much easier than other cities in Europe, some of which even considerably smaller. The well adjusted railway and Tube system and the well thought city plan (can you believe it?) have proven to be rather beneficial for the traffic in the capital. The fact that one can reach the City from any point for some half an hour via train is also something that surprises many tourists and visitors of the capital. It looks like there are certain benefits to being the birthplace of the steam engine.