22 August 2015


As you walk around London and wonder through popular sites, you might just find yourself wind up at Trafalgar Square. Dare I say, it is situated in the midst of everything! From the map below, you can see how quite a few main roads lead you straight here to a roundabout. The square itself is big with two fountains, providing the perfect place to sit around and chill. It is also a great place to observe. You get a diverse group of people visiting the square or the gallery. There's also a selection of parks, hipster Soho restaurants, west end shows, and the royal grounds around it. You can even see the Big Ben which is near by River Thames from here. The fountains might remind you of Picadilly Circus' Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, where lots of teenagers hang around. When I love Picadilly Circus for shopping, I've always find it too busy to actually be around and relax. Everyone is rushing to somewhere including me! If you find Picadilly Circus too "much" of your taste, then believe me you'd be much happier at Trafalgar Square. Sometimes they have events there, occasionally you'd find street artists drawing amazing pictures on the ground or performing musical numbers, but somehow these artists managed to keep the place chill, instead of overwhelming you. The square has an astonishing balance that makes it feel just right.

Right beside Trafalgar Square is another major landmark - The National Gallery. I usually stop and really look at a painting if my eyes catch the glimpse of its unique-somthing-whatever-it-is. Though I'd have to admit, it is hard for me to pay attention to most of them especially if I don't know the story behind them. I walked around the gallery and found some Van Gogh's. The sunflowers on the right took me right to an episode of Doctor Who. If you've seen the show, you might know what I'm talking about. I actually sat in front of his paintings for a long time. Just staring at them and observed the people walking around. Most of the time I'm one of them: pass by, take a look, take a picture, walk away. Of course in this day and age we are all pressed for time, whether we really are or we've been made to believe it. Sitting there I felt a bit sad upon this realization. Too often people go to see a famous art piece from miles away and only spend less than 30 seconds with it. Perhaps we all need to slow down sometimes and really enjoy what's around us.

This last piece: The Skiff (La Yole) is one of my favourites from the gallery. The brush strokes really made it stand out. It caught my eyes because of the colour. A bright yellowy orange boat sitting right in the center brings out a hint of contentment from the blue, while the greenery and the red brick house blends in lovely in the back.

I rarely slow down and allow time to pass when I travel. In most cases I'm in a hurry since I'd like to see everything and cram in as much as I could. This might be the first time I took my time to simply observe. I can't say I'd do it often, but I might do it more than before now that I've done it. Observing brings new perspective that I did not expect to perceive, which would make a pretty good surprise from time to time.