Recently we were privileged to be invited to a wedding in the Midlands, England. In my mind this conjures up visions of vast expanses of land and rich estates – a kind of Pride and Prejudice meets Downton Abbey – small towns, cute country lanes, rolling hills, hearty food and wide varieties of dialects. My husband and I opted to add a few days of unplanned driving – the aim was to wander aimlessly, traverse the hills, take in whatever sights we happened across, and eat and drink till we burst. Goal achieved! As I mentioned from my last visit to England, my opinion of the country has changed somewhat from being a boring (normal food, English-speaking) destination, into a familiar one that reminds me nostalgically of home.
Visiting the London area in the past (eg. When I was living in Australia) was always a bit of a lowlight. Not bad, of course, just not as exciting as the rest of the trip.
It was a place that was easy, where I knew the language and had friends to stay with. It was a rest stop, a place to recuperate. Or it was simply the most practical or cheapest place to fly in and out of.