When I travel, I like to find the odd, historic, and meanigful places.
In Budapest, it was the Sirius Teahouse that was built like an indoor treehouse. My travels in Venice weren’t complete without visiting Libreria Aqua Alta, the shop where they store hundreds of books in bathtubs and full-sized gondolas for when the canals rise. While visiting Inverness, I took the bus to the Culloden Battlefield to walk the thistle fields that turned Scottish history. And while cities and countries are interesting in themselves, sometimes you can find those unique little corners that make your experience worthwhile.
One of the most interesting places I’ve been to was a park. It’s not grand and very easy to miss on a map. It is a small courtyard in the middle of bustling London called Postman’s Park and it’s dedicated to the men, women, and children who have all died while saving someone else’s life. There aren’t many memorial stones; in fact, the park was never truly finished, but the ones who are remembered immortalized in a hauntingly beautiful way. About 40 or so plaques hang on a wall, dedicated to those as old as 50 and as young as eight. Some are servicemen on duty, but most of them are friends, family, or even strangers. Despite the fact that I was walking around momentous landmarks like Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, this tiny little park on the far bank of the Thames seemed to stick with me for a long time. It was a humbling experience to stumble upon this place. I can still remember the day; it was slightly drizzling (like London always seems to be) and I was alone. I read the plaques while standing under my umbrella and then the sun came out unexpectedly.
I finished reading the plaques rather quickly, but I stayed for at least an hour, listening to the birds sing and the mossy fountain trickle softly. I sat on a bench for a while, not doing much other than watching others walk through the park and read the names on the stones. I couldn’t even hear the cars. I have yet to find anything else quite like that one hour.
What’s the most interesting place that you’ve stumbled across?