Since it was my last night in London before moving on to Paris, I wanted to do some light exploring (pun not intended, but appreciated) and see how some places looked at night. First, I went back to Piccadilly Circus, since I only really saw the actual “circus” area when I stopped by after the Malaysian Festival in Trafalgar Square. By the way, in this form, “circus” means “a rounded open space in a city where several streets converge”. Unfortunately (or on second thought, fortunately), there aren’t any clowns or elephants running around.
This time, I decided to venture a little further to see what I could find. I found this curious object.
Apparently, this is a “Cantonal Tree” depicting the coat of arms of twenty-six cantons in Switzerland. Definition time again! A “canton” is “a subdivision of a country established for political or administrative purposes”. What’s it doing in the middle of London? Well, the area where this tree is standing was named Swiss Court on the 700th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation to commemorate the friendship between Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
There was a strong scent of chocolate nearby and I found out that it was coming from a multi-story M&Ms Store. I’ve been to the M&Ms Store in New York City and Las Vegas before, but I didn’t expect to see one in London at all. I went inside just to check out how big it was (I think it’s pretty similar to the other stores) and take pictures of the M&Ms characters making sure that you understood that you were in the London and not anywhere else.
I did some more walking around, but it was mostly just more gift shops, fast food restaurants, and theaters, so I left and took the tube to the Westminster station. I wanted to see Big Ben lit up at night as one of my last things to do in London. I loved it. It looks more majestic at night.
Across the bridge, you can also see the London Eye changing colors. When I was looking at tickets for the London Eye, I was originally thinking about doing the day and night package, but decided that going up on that thing once would be enough. I’m still kind of curious to see what the view of the city would like from up high at night, but there are always future trips.
At the end of the night, I found a Pret a Manger to grab some food to eat. I’ve seen a lot of these restaurants in London and they emphasize serving natural food, which is always a plus. I had never heard of it before since we don’t have any in California (there are apparently locations in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Washington DC though) and I figured that since it was a British company with a French name, it could also act as a symbol of my traveling from London to Paris the following day.
So here ends the London section of this series (for now). In the next post, we’ll be heading to the City of Light!