See what I did there with the title? "Eyeing off"...The London Eye...Get it? Ah never mind, it wasn't that clever a title after all really. So yeah, anyway, London huh?
The greater London area lies over some 1570 square kilometres and is home to around nine million people. That's about five thousand seven hundred people per square kilometre so, a lot I guess. But it wasn't always so.
People have lived right here for a very long time. A timber bridge structure was found not so long ago and dated to somewhere around 1750 BC and 1285 BC. I'm not sure how accurate radiocarbon dating is however the historian in me loves the thought that bronze age people called this place home so long ago. I wonder who they are, what they did and what their lives were like.
A mesolithic structure was also found and dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC so again, evidence of people long, long ago. I bet they did not have to worry about over-crowding, high cost of living and an endless stream of tourist's like Londoner's do now though!
The Romans came along around four years after their invasion of 43AD and they formed the first significant settlement there until 61AD calling it Londinium. Unfortunately for the Romans Queen Boudica of the Iceni tribe came along with her hordes and burned Londinium to the ground and killed virtually everyone within it. It's actually an excellent story to be honest and was a great military defeat for the long-establish mighty Roman Empire. The Roman's persevered though and by the 2nd century Londinium, the seat of power of Roman Britannia, boasted 60,000 residents. Cue over-crowding.
The collapse of Roman rule around 300 years later saw the Anglo-Saxon's and Vikings take the lead and by the 11th century it was England's largest town by far, important enough to house one of Europe's grandest churches, Westminster Abbey, commissioned by King Edward the Confessor.
The middle ages, early-modern and late-modern era's followed along with many infamous [and famous] people and events happening in those period's, like the Tudor period of King Edward VIII for instance, and London rose in size, population and influence to become the modern metropolis it is today.
It is considered one of the most important and influential cities on the globe these days and is the home of many of the worlds most powerful people and companies. For you and I, tourists, it's an amazing place to visit with a little of everything all contained within the one location from history, night life, music and arts, shopping, food-culture, amazing and beautiful architecture and an endless list of things to occupy oneself with. It is truly an amazing city to visit.
It is not a cheap place to visit, or live for that matter, however there's many things one can do that don't cost a lot and just being there seems to hold a certain aura for most. It's a busy place and the locals probably curse the tourists from time to time but they still flock there, some 18 million a year give or take, with an annual expenditure of around 15 billion pounds. [Billion]. Not chump change is it?
I enjoyed it and will go back. Obviously the historical aspect of it appealed to me however we spent a good deal of time engaging with the city's various aspects and will certainly be back for more in the near future.
Image taken from a boat on the Thames and is of the London Eye, one of the most visited and iconic landmarks the city has.