After being in London for a few weeks, Dublin came as a bit of letdown. It took me awhile to figure out why, as I should have felt a connection because of my Irish heritage. Once I left, I felt like I understood why my ancestors did too: The place just seemed depressing. But it isn’t really. What it is is the capital of a nation that has no imperial history, and therefore no evidence of grandeur due to unexpected (or ill-gotten, as your opinion may be) wealth. Of all the other places we’ve been in Europe this is the first one that can make that claim. Spain took gold and silver from the new world. France had it’s forays in North America, Africa and South Pacific. Britain had it’s sunny Empire. Germany…well, yeah, you get the picture. Ireland? They’re just going about their business at (their exquisitely beautiful) home.
Once back in London, we did a few things that were at the bottom of the list. We trekked into places that weren’t as easy to get to. We saw the sorts of things that were afterthoughts. This included a trip to Lewis Leathers for the red lined motorcycle jacket, a walk across the Abbey Road Studios’ famous zebra, the Sherlock Holmes statue and taking in the local flavor in Notting Hill with some friends I’d made in my short time there.
All of these experiences were great, but the best part was coming “home.” London in general, and Notting HIll specifically, felt like home from the day I arrived. And returning from my first trip away really reinforced that feeling.