A walk from where I live to the center of the city takes around 35 to 40 minutes. This all depends on much of a rush I’m in.
If I’m really pressed for time I cycle, if I’m really, really pressed for time and/or lazy I grab the bus. It’s through walking though that really opens my eyes to the world between my home and the center of the city.
So that’s what I’m going to talk about I this post, that walk.
The journey starts in a quiet side street that ends at at a large recreation park full of dog walkers and fitness fanatics.
Once you reach the other end of the street you’re greeted with what is usually a very busy road.
This particular thoroughfare take traffic from the city center out to the ring road, where it emerges by a large car factory that makes mini cars.
Heading towards town the road is initially lined with mostly suburban semi detached houses, with the occasional shops and places of business as well.
After about 15 minutes of walking you pass an old cinema on your left, that then became a bingo hall, which then became a nightclub and is now a place of worship. It is here that first marks the first big change in surroundings.
There are less houses here. More cafes, shops, restaurants and other places of business. You’ll be hard pressed to miss both the church on the left and the mosque on the right. It is also this stretch of road which plays host to a yearly street carnival.
Not much changes for another 20 minutes or so, the diversity of businesses along here is quite astounding when you consider how most High Streets are currently faring. You can quite literally find every kind of shop, and every kind of cuisine. It’s here that you’ll find the only record shop in the entire city as well.
The landscape around you once again makes a big change once you arrive at the end of this particular road. Ending at a very green and leafy roundabout, that was one a cemetery.
After a short walk across a wide bridge, the first big sign that the world around you has changed is the tall, rectangular and often noisy tower on the right hand side.
Once you past this tower you’ll head up the Main Street where you’re greeted with even more ancient ancient buildings. All kinds of towers and structures penetrate the skyline. Square buildings, triangular spires and round reading rooms.
Keep going for a few more minutes and you’ll eventually arrive at a crossroads. Not a metaphorical one, a literal meeting of four roads. X marks the spot, the center of the city.
This too has its very own tower. One that used to have its very own church.
A more different place you couldn’t get from the place we began.
What is a walk through the place you live like? I’d love to hear about it, why not drop me a line.
William is a professional photographer, a podcast host and workshop facilitator. You can sign up to his newsletter by following this link.