Turning 60 in London

A trip with special people. The first flight, the first visit abroad and a birthday to celebrate: all this in 64 hours.

I wished my dad’s 60th birthday was special, simple people feel intense emotions, bringing my dad and his partner to London was simple, but believe me, very emotional.

We worked hard so that his partner could see a European town, something she dreamed about for a long time.

They were looking around, studying, getting excited, asking questions, just like kids eager to learn. For them everything was new: the language, the culture. Yet, they managed to deal with it well and were left with more energy compared to us!

We visited London with one of the typical tours, The Original Tour, and we showed them the attractions this magically hectic city offers.

Based on their request we took them to Buckingham Palace, where they got disappointed, just like we expected, seeing a massive grey building, the same colour of its city’s sky.

Things got better though. Trafalgar Square was closed due to a protest against the NHS, and in this surreal atmosphere, like Vanilla Sky the movie, we watched the changing of the guards at the Horse Guard Museum. We saw two adolescents getting ecstatic. My dad’s eyes were the ones of a happy child, his partner was filming everything, including the spectators heads.

I don’t want to talk about London, it’s a place that most people already know, but I’d like to suggest a few great picks that Vale had prepared for us thanks to her years as Londoner.

Brunch at Cafe 202 in Notting Hill. Industrial design meets fashion, medium prices, fast service, great plates of food with British classics and interesting re-visitations.

Dinner at Riverford at The Duke of Cambridge, in Islington, the only organic pub in Britain. Pillars of English cuisine such as duck and lamb, as well as Middle Eastern inspired options like humus, or African couscous. Excellent quality of produce, easy-going environment, popular between locals spending their night playing cards over a drink or two. Medium price range of about 30 euro each excluding wine/beer.

Walking on London’s canals, and Columbia Road Flower Market on Sunday morning: you’ll be charmed by this place. Since we stayed at Airbnb rental in Angel, we got there directly on foot, grabbing breakfast in one of the cafes on the way.

As usual the weather and the sky of my beloved Northern Europe has given its best, with 4 seasons in 24 hours, something more to experience for our travel companions.

Overall, I spent 3 intense days, happy and carefree.

I was looking at my dad adapting, what men can do best, and at last, I saw a man away from work, that has taken away a bit of his life. I was noticing TRAVELLING, this amazing passion and attitude of Vale and I, opening up his eyes and enriching the soul, like only the world seen from a different perspective can do.

I saw a person struggling with her personal health battle, to make a dream come true, and it was priceless.

I travelled with all my family for the first time of my life and it has been a unique experience.

Thank you Vale.




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