There's a hidden London. It's found in closed tube stations, the muddy banks of the Thames. And after you roll up all the roads and the buildings and put them away, London is low rolling hills, gentle and almost flat.
I took a different route into work today: map and route (annoted with EQuill). Walking down Ludgate Hill I was suddenly struck with the landscape beneath London -- looking across to Holborn Viaduct you can't help but realise that the earth is still here, influencing how we build and live, even though the city's been here for a thousand years and more.
Walking through Lincoln's Inn and New Square was beautiful. A sudden oasis of green, gulls calling from the top of the red chapel. Wonderful.
There are parts of the City of London like this: around and about Bank tube station, great grey buildings towering around narrow streets. The sense of money and power is in the very rock here.
There's something magical about these hidden places. Something that makes London worth it, even after the crowds and the traffic and the horrendous main roads. It just has to be found.