London Calling


Aidan Araoz, Reporter

Europe has a reputation for being very freethinking and artsy. It is said to have beautiful cities with small cobbled roads and ancient buildings. Every street seems to just want to tell you a story. If you are looking for that feeling of history, do not go to London. While London does aesthetically have those historical aspects, the way the city flows feels incredibly modern but still different from any city in the United States.

I experienced this modern efficiency when I visited London for a week this past winter. When you step off your plane and step into one of the many terminals at Heathrow Airport, you can immediately tell that the airport is much cleaner than what you would find at JFK Airport in New York. Travelling through the airport, there is a much stronger presence of personnel that are in the pristine uniforms. Although this seems like a small difference, it actually evokes a very utopian feeling. This will be a recurring theme you discover as you travel throughout the city. You board an incredibly fast train that leads to one of the best parts of the London experience, the London Underground.

The London Underground, or The Tube, is a system of trains that run beneath the streets. This may sound similar to New York’s subway or Washington DC’s metro, but The Tube has a completely different feel. At first glance you can see that your surroundings are especially clean, and there are uniformed personnel stationed all around. Finding which routes to take and selecting which train you need to get to your destination is extremely easy. The signs are precise and easy to understand. Once you choose your line, taking the train is a much easier experience. The trains are efficient and often stick to their assigned times. Aboard the train, you will find something that cannot be seen in any American city. The cars of the train are not divided; the trains have one connected body. A rider can be standing in the first car and look all the way back to the last car of the train.

Depending upon what area of the city you choose to go, your experience will differ. If you ascend from the underground near Westminster Palace, you will find what is expected of London. The roads are cobbled and narrow, there is a pub on every corner, and Union Jacks cannot escape your sight.
However, if you were to go to the financial district you would find towering skyscrapers and modern architecture. To get what you want out of London, you must choose the right district for you.

With this in mind, you may not choose London as your city to get that classic European experience; but still, London is definitely a noteworthy city with something for everyone. To see a place truly different from anywhere else in the world, go to London.