“You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” (Samuel Johnson, 1777).
London has been my home for about 9 years. It was where I read Law. I left London at the end of 1992 and have not been back since, an absence of about 24 years. But, in June 2016, my wife and I found ourselves back in London, after persistent pleadings by my wife and her god-parents. So here we are, back in good old London, where we stayed with my wife’s god-parents for a week and spending the other 3 weeks of our holiday visiting Prague (Czech Republic), Vienna (Austria), Budapest (Hungary), Amsterdam (Holland), Kaiserslautern, (Germany) and Strasbourg (France).
Apart from re-visiting the usual sights of London and shopping in Oxford Street (of course), my wife and I decided to re-acquaint ourselves with the Inns of Court (Lincoln’s Inn, Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray’s Inn). My wife was called to the Bar in Middle Temple and I in Lincoln’s Inn and this is where we will be visiting.
Lincoln’s Inn is situated on Chancery Lane, north of Inner and Middle Temple and south of Gray’s Inn. There is a tradition that none of the Inns of Court regards itself to be any older then the others. As with the other Inns, the precise date of founding of Lincoln’s Inn is unknown but the Inn can claim the oldest records – its “Black Books” documenting the minutes of the Governing Council go back to 1422.
Around Lincoln’s Inn are some very old buildings, some owned by the Inn and usually rented out to Barristers as it is within the vicinity of the Royal Courts of Justice.
We then hopped over to the Middle Temple, a short 5 minutes or so away, where my wife was called to the Bar. There are some very beautiful and old buildings along the way.
Following are images of the Middle Temple and the surrounding buildings.
We stopped for lunch at a beautiful Italian Restaurant opposite the Savoy Hotel.
Considering the location, the prices of the food in the Italian Restaurant was surprisingly reasonable and also very good. After a good and fulfilling lunch, we decided to take a walk down to the River Thames all the way to the British Parliament building.
Walking along the House of Parliament, you will eventually reach St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey.
No visit to London is complete without visiting Buckingham Palace and that’s where we headed to next.
Finally, after some shopping in Oxford Street we visited Covent Garden and had dinner there.
Finally, our tour of London has come to an end and the words of Samuel Johnson rings in my ears once again: “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”. However, since leaving London in 1992, there was no yearning in me to want to go back to London, at all.
Although the London that I once remember is very different from now, London will always have a special place in my heart. It is the place where about 9 years of my life was spent there. It is also the place that offered me a chance to obtain a good education and set me up for life. For all these, London will always remain endearing to me.
Would I ever visit London again?. Frankly, I really do not have the answer, but seeing the happiness in my wife’s face when she is in the company of her god-parents (who are getting advance in age), I probably will. The photo below speaks a thousand words.
All images shot with the Nikon D810 and Nikkor 18-35mm f3.5-4,5g lens and processed in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop.