This month, the city of London will host the ten-day Slow Down London a “Living Life in Real Time” festival for busy city dwellers. Running April 24th through May 4th, the festival focuses on taking a break from the pressures of city living (something we college students already excel at) and relaxing. The program encourages Londoners to “explore slow music and arts, to try meditation and yoga, to sample slow food and crafts, to discover ‘slow travel’ in our own city, to debate ideas about time and pace, and to find our own ways to challenge the cult of speed and to appreciate the world around us.” And with ranging from “Wine and Words,” a poetry and vino session at Foyles to free guided tours at the National Portrait Gallery, or discounted yoga and meditation sessions, just about everyone can find a reason to relax next week.
Even if you’re not into the events, there is no better way to tour the city then to walk around by foot, get inspired by Slow Down London and take some time out of your busy day and EXPLORE! Take your sandwich to the park, or find a new restaurant in your neighbourhood. Now that the weather outside is no longer frightful, no more excuses!
And, hey, by using public transportation, Londoners are already one step ahead of the congestion filled streets of California. Taking the bus or subway to work or school (as long as the person next to you doesn’t have tuna breath…) is relaxing! Leave for work a little early, grab a newspaper, plug into your iPod, and take an extra five minutes to enjoy the ride (just don’t fall asleep on the tube…you never know where you might end up!) And, since the underground is, well, underground, no annoying cell phone conversations to listen to either.
Or, if you’re new to the city (like I am) or a tourist (like I am as well), why not take some time out to explore what the city has to offer. There is an endless variety of things to do in and around the city! Hop on a bike tour or take a guided stroll around London one afternoon, the city is full of history and no one knows it better than the city’s blue-badge guides.
To check out Slow Down London’s listing of events, go to: http://slowdownlondon.co.uk/index.php