Scenic Coulsdon

February 16, 2011

We started off by having lunch at an Italian café where the owner complimented me on my correct pronunciation of the dishes (thanks to crash course in Italian by one of my friends currently living in Italy). Afterwards, we walked down the road and encountered a big issue seller, who another team member went up to and started conversing with him in Romanian. His eyes lit up and he told a bit about himself and the area. The same team member was actually on the hunt for roses that day (which was a little difficult as it was three days away from Valentine’s Day). Unfortunately, the florist shop we stopped into was sold out, but she called a few others in the area to see if they had any. We also checked out a flower stall set up on the side of the road and chatted with them for a bit. The eagerness and friendliness of the locals was wonderful.

Continuing down the high street, I noticed how long this one was in comparison to some of the other places we had been. Near the end, something made me turn around and I was awestruck by a completely unexpected sight: there were hills to both sides of us, with houses and trees, and we were in somewhat of a valley. I hadn’t even noticed this as we were walking, but it framed the city very nicely – it was beautiful.

With that said, though, I was also aware of a constant sound of traffic, but the town centre was relatively quiet. There was another area of interest I wanted to see, but it was divided by something on the map and I wasn’t quite sure how to get to it. That’s when we walked in the general direction and discovered a large, recessed motorway cutting through the city and a long walkway bridge built to the other side. There was definitely an “other side” feel to it as it was purely residential with lots of trees obscuring the view of the motorway (and also probably dampening the noise a little). Why do these people live over “here” and the town centre is all the way over “there”? Is this deliberate? Does this work?

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