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What is it that finally makes you realise you're in London?

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London, United...
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What is it that finally makes you realise you're in London?

This is for people who've been to London or intending to go for the first time. It can also be for Londoners returning from abroad as well.

What is it that when you experienence it finally made you feel like that you were in London. It could be a sight, or for more regular visitors, a sound or even a smell that finally makes you think "Yes, I'm in London" or for Londoners, "Yes, I'm home" or more likely "No, I'm home and it's work tomorrow".

For instance, when I went to Sydney and saw the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, I knew I had finally arrived because these are unique to Sydney and in Paris, it was seeing the Eiffel Tower. And when I return home, it is the tube journey that brings me back to reality.

So, over to you....

San Diego, CA
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1. Re: What is it that finally makes you realise you're in London?

I love this question, and just thinking about it brought a great sense of nostalgia for the vacation that I just returned from a couple weeks ago. I loved the Heathrow Express and the sights from the window that made me know I wasn't in California, but I guess the first thing after getting out of Paddington was when I was waiting at the taxi queue and saw the British cabs - so very different from ours.

That was my first realization, as there's always a taxi in movies filmed in Britian, isn't there? Then of course the ride (on the "wrong" side of the road) to my hotel in Kensington past the parks and gardens, and all the lush green plants. Seems rather dull doesn't it, guess it should be Big Ben or the Parliament buildings, but for me it was just the taxi that let me know I had finally really and truly arrived in your exceptionally beautiful city.

Pacific Grove...
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2. Re: What is it that finally makes you realise you're in London?

On my most recent trip, my flight over had a London based flight crew. The accents had me halfway to London before the plane even took off!

(Chissis, just curious: what hotel did you stay at in Kensington?)

Meaford, Canada
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3. Re: What is it that finally makes you realise you're in London?

The energy!

San Diego, CA
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4. Re: What is it that finally makes you realise you're in London?

The Regency at 100 Queensgate in South Ken - if you're curious, I wrote a review....

Sydney Australia
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5. Re: What is it that finally makes you realise you're in London?

When I visit London for the very first time this August I expect it to be a realisation of many thoughts and images from a very young age at school when we used to sing God Save the Queen and London Bridge is Falling Down together with the fact that some lucky people really did live in palaces and castles and it wasn't just all fairytales. After seeing many royal processions/weddings/funerals etc on TV with all the associated pomp, pageantry and views of London, these visions will finally come to life together with all the amazing history.

somewhere out there
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6. Re: What is it that finally makes you realise you're in London?

When the weather's good and the plane circles London and I recognize all the landmarks.

Conversly, when the weather's bad and you have to descend through that mile of grey cloud, yes, that's London.

The whoosh of the underground as it comes into the station.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: What is it that finally makes you realise you're in London?

Getting off the plane could only be one airport, but passport control and bag collection is fairly standard. But. After having bought a Travelcard and standing on the platform, that's when it all comes to fruition - the wind in the tunnel before the train arrives, and the sound it makes when it heads out again. The sight of a red bus can do it, too, but there's something v evocative about the tube.

A close second is buying the first Guardian or Standard.

Salem, Oregon
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8. Re: What is it that finally makes you realise you're in London?

It starts at the airport, with the signs:

Way out

Queue

Toilet

Trolley

Cash point

Hire car desk

Thank you for your custom

Look right

Coaches

And the first time over, the question, Why are you here? I was 15 seconds into an explanation about how I had always wanted to be there when it dawned on me it was not a philosophical question, all he wanted to know was, was I there for business or "holiday" (another clue I was in a foreign country). Ha!

Winnipeg, Canada
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9. Re: What is it that finally makes you realise you're in London?

On my very first trip,when I got on the tube and it comes up overground,I thought "I'm home".There is also a certain indescribable smell that is London to me.Three or four times a year I smell it here and I am transported back in an instant.

Halifax, NS
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10. Re: What is it that finally makes you realise you're in London?

For me, it's the roofs and the myriads of chimney pots that you can see from the tube/train going into London. Also the allotments.