Sunday, November 28, 2010
Call me crazy, but I love crowds. Not the shoulder-to-shoulder, shuffling-an-inch-at-a-time, can't-breathe-without-inhaling-your-neighbor's-hair kind of crowd, but the kind you find in most big cities, that pulses with the energy of everyone in it, pushes you to walk a little faster and says "Okay, what are we going to do today?"
That energy is one of the first things I notice about a city and, if one doesn't have a distinct feeling all its own, it's a good indication that I'm probably not going to like it much - not a problem for London, the location of this week's Saturday Snapshot.
This photo was taken from the steps of The National Gallery, overlooking Trafalgar Square, in late October 2005, when I was visiting London with a friend during the second half of our October break. We were only there for a few days and had slightly different to-see lists, so we decided to spend most of this day separately. Predictably, I spent a lot of it wandering the city streets, soaking up the atmosphere. After two months in relatively small Aix-en-Provence, being back in the rush and bustle of a large capital city with crowds of people on the streets felt like being a kid in a candy store. Everywhere I looked, there were interesting things to see: people, stores, taxis, landmarks, other tourists.
It was mid-afternoon by the time I reached Trafalgar Square and I was starting to drag a little, probably because I'm prone to forgetting lunch when I'm exploring a new place. I wandered through the square, then joined the crowd on the steps of the museum and just sat for a while, people-watching and snapping photos, happy to be part of the crowd.