From our recent trip to London and Edinburgh…
The English often strike foreigners as being odd. Not in a bad way, mind you. Just different. Like being unfailingly polite as they elbow their way past you onto the Tube. The juxtaposition of seemingly incongruous behaviors can be both confusing and entertaining.
A wonderful example of this involves a little park I read about in a guidebook: Hampstead Heath. You can reach it by Tube, which makes it convenient to visit. From the station it’s just a short walk through a quaint village (with some great pubs!) to get to the heath itself, which is beautiful, and presents some nice panoramic views of London (click on a picture to see it full size).
But that’s not why this particular heath caught my fancy.
You see, it turns out it’s a prime viewing location for Londoners wishing to watch the traditional fireworks display marking an ancient holiday. And what’s the celebration commemorate, you ask? Why, just the attempt by Guy Fawkes and his colleagues to blow up Parliament and trigger a revolution.
Think about it: marking an attempt — a failed attempt — to overthrow the established order, and start a massive bloodletting.
With parties, celebrations and fireworks.
Only in England :).