¿Quieres sumergirte en los misterios de Londres mientras mejoras tu comprensión en inglés? Sigue leyendo y descubre además cómo va tu inglés con el ejercicio de hoy.
I am going to assume that you have been to London already. If you haven’t, then it is time to start saving a bit of money and plan a trip with your family or a couple of friends (at least). It is very close to Spain and it is the perfect option for having fun and practicing your English at the same time. If you plan on going in October, do not miss out on the Raindance festival, which second to Sundance in the USA, is the most important independent film festival in the world. It always has a very good selection of films.
If you are going with someone that has already been there, you’ll probably hear the typical legends, such as Jack the Ripper or the Dead man’s hole. They still fascinate people, even if some of them have been heard hundreds of times. Underneath the Tower Bridge in London, there is an area that was used in the past as an open air morgue, where the police stored dead, unidentified bodies that they had fished out of the Thames river.
When I first visited London I think I heard “Did you know that…” more times than I had ever before. Did you know that there is an area in London with the only name in English that puts together 6 consonants? It’s called Knightsbridge. Did you know that you can say whatever you want in London as long as you do not touch the ground directly with your feet? You just need a podium or a ladder, put your feet on it and then start speaking. (Hopefully someone will be interested in what you have to say!) They call it Speakers’ Corner and it is an outdoor area for public speaking, debate and discussion. You can attend any one of these speeches in the northeast corner of Hyde Park. Speakers here may talk on any subject. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, there is no immunity from the law–although police officers tend to be quite opened minded about what speakers say.
There are thousands of words written about London and there are many people that we admire that were born or developed their careers there. These include Adele, Amy Winehouse, Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, Michael Kane, Robert Pattinson, Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman or Rachel Weisz (just to name a few).
For sure, when you first arrive you have to visit all the monuments, museums, and touristy places such as Camden Town for shopping, Portbello Street posh market, or Notting Hill, which holds the largest street carnival after Rio de Janeiro’s in Brazil, the largest in Europe. The Notting Hill Carnival takes place in West London every August. If you want to avoid the crowds that you will always find in those places, then go to the multi-cultural Bricklane Street market on a Sunday. It is one of my favorites: it mixes culture, arts and crafts, photography, design and fashion together with international inexpensive food (£5 ).
Being a tourist and visiting for a few days is always fun and rewarding, but living there is a whole different story. I was living there for almost a year and I thought it was a monster city; I mean, not enough light, too big, too expensive, too competitive and too hard. Just to plan a meeting with your friends may turn into something to plan well in advance, and when I say that I mean way in advance. It is not an easy city for living although it obviously has plenty of opportunities for work and connections, if you can deal with the fact that you have to live there.
London is not the cheapest city but it is worth a visit, and there are always very good deals that will suit your budget. Take the risk; it will be the perfect English language exam to test your level.
to fish out: sacar, recuperar (con dificultad)
discussion: debate, charla
to hold (an event): celebrar un evento
rewarding: que te recompensa
well in advance: con suficiente antelación
to suit your budget: ajustase a tu presupuesto