One of the best aspects of working holidays is being able to draw out the tourist experience when it suits me. I love exploring new cities but weekend visits always make me feel a bit anxious because I know that I will have to narrow down the list of everything that I want to see. I felt that way about Paris. There is so much more of Paris that I want to see and I gave it a pretty good go while I was there for 5 days!
So living abroad allows me to take a more relaxed approach to site seeing. Living in a city as large and abundant as London is like handing me a challenge on a silver platter! I have been doing well to keep a nice balance of being a tourist and being an expat. I've had a lot of busy weekends and a few too many lazy weekends lately. So I’m trying to cut down on the hibernation by reminding myself that London really isn’t that cold and this time last year I was surviving in minus temperatures in Berlin.
I’ve also been extremely lucky since Christmas, that our company has had a reasonably quiet workload leading us to be sent home early almost every day. I’ve taken advantage of some of these days by heading out to museums and galleries in the hope that the weekday afternoons are much quieter than weekends.
One of my favourite afternoons was spent walking around the National Gallery. By the time I managed to find it that is! It’s really not complicated at all to get to Trafalgar square but somehow it was a mission for me to get there! The tourist density wasn't too horrendous which was surprising for a day so soon after New Years eve.
The gallery was amazing. I walked through rooms full of fantastic Western European paintings. The gallery houses 2,300 works from the 13th to the early 20th century including pieces by Rembrandt, Botticelli and Van Gogh. One of my favourites was Bacchus and Ariadne. Bacchus fell in love with Ariadne when he saw her and leapt from his chariot down to her. She was eventually turned into a constellation.
I was really impressed with the layout and maintenance of the gallery and the information displayed with each piece. Some of the biblical scenes were so fascinating and reading the information accompanying the art made the experience so much more enriching. It almost made me want to go home and read the bible again. I was reminded of all of the stories I had listened to in Church growing up and it felt quite nostalgic.