Walk 5 – Stratford to Elephant and Castle

For this weeks walk I decided to just.. walk home. I had an appointment in Stratford, so after that instead of getting on public transport or even my bike, I set home on foot.

This took me through some areas of London filled with character. I walked through Bow and Mile End; here I saw the statue in memory of William Booth who started The Salvation Army in London in 1865 (this is the church I was brought up in and still attend). I passed through the area surrounding Brick Lane; here you feel like you are in a different country altogether. Being surrounded by people who originate from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan etc; markets filled with fruit, fish, clothes, odd bits and pieces; its an area filled with character and life. Then I moved through the area of Aldgate and Fenchurch St – what a contrast! Just down the road from culture and disorder is men in suits; business and predominantly white people; no character or smiling faces.

The sun was shining as I walked and the air was cold and crisp. It was great walking home. I remember when I lived in South Africa during 2006 we walked everywhere! Walking for 3 hours to get somewhere was not unusual but the norm. I remember returning from that experience and thinking ‘Why do we drive everywhere? Im going to walk places more often from now on.’ But life went on and I forgot that valuable lesson.

Today has reminded me that sometimes we should forget the car; avoid annoying tubes and buses and put on a pair of walking shoes. Trust me – you feel good at the end.

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