The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it. (Karl Marx)

Today was an interesting day for me and London. I woke up early, from a rather late night, not feeling well. Something in me was unsettled, and I was feeling beat up, lonely, and missing everyone and everything. So I decided instead of sitting in my cold apartment, feeling crappy I would be proactive about the situation and force myself out. But where the heck was I supposed to go? And of course I chose a cemetery. It’s one of the most famous, and oldest cemeteries in London – Highgate Cemetery. I saw it in a travel book, and I just knew I wanted to explore it. So I looked up the directions, prepared to take the tube all by my lonesome, charged up my camera and went right out the door.

And I didn’t really get lost on the tube like I figured I would. Me and tube stations don’t mesh well, I mean it took me three months of living in Brooklyn to feel comfortable with the subway. But I forged ahead, and when I reached my final destination I realized I had basically picked the hilliest part of London (I so hate hills) and the cemetery was at the very top of a hill. Well I got to the top, realized I wasn’t in the right place, walked a little ways back, then went left, then went too far again, and had to check a bus map for help. The cemetery was at the bottom of ANOTHER hill (steeper than the first), tucked away in the middle of this neighborhood. It was huge. And breathtaking.

I know some of you might think it’s weird that I chose to go to a cemetery when I was already in a crappy mood. But there is something about these places that do make me feel peaceful. Yes, sad, definitely sad. There were moments where I just wanted to sit and cry over the grave of this person who lived a hundred years ago, but I also felt surrounded by good. I went photo happy, taking almost 200 photos by the time I left.

I’m not sure I can express how I felt in the cemetery. First of all, I felt amazingly at peace, and proud that I had adventured here all on my own. That I had no time limit, not a care in the world, except that it may just rain on me. Other than that I had no fears about getting lost, or someone asking me to hurry up. I could stop at any grave, venture down the paths that were a little overgrown, crouch down in the mud to get a better snapshot, not worrying that there was no mud on my knees.

I wandered for an hour before I came across the grave that had drawn me to this place in the first place : Karl Marx. Is of course comes out of nowhere as you’re rounding a corner and his giant head all of a sudden is just staring at you. It was neat to see it, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more impressed by the ret of it. And that’s because I didn’t get to see HALF of it. The West cemetery is larger, has more writers in it, and can only be accessed by a guided tour which I didn’t want to wait around for. Maybe another day?

I think the thing that struck me most is the amazing foliage of this place. You’ll see from the photos I put up that it’s almost like being in a forest. And sometimes I’d look down to my side and there’d be this sad, blank grave marking peeping up through the brush almost completely forgotten.

It was a wonderful thing to venture out on my own and by the time I climbed back onto the train I felt so much better than I had that morning. I had an adventure all of my very own, and it was well…liberating!

Okay! So onto photos. I obviously did not put all ten million of them here, but the rest are on my facebook page.

This is Karl Marx's massive grave. And his giant head.

An old grave that had fallen over with age and weather.

The whole place was like this. Very crowded.

One of the dirt paths. I loved this shot.

Another one of my favorite shots of the day. The little photo was just perched right there on top.

Possibly my favorite shot of the afternoon. It struck me becuase the boy and I share a birth year, but he died in 2009. And I turn 21 on Thursday.

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Published in: on October 2, 2010 at 9:37 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Second picture would have to be my favorite. It has it’s own story behind it and that is what draws me in 🙂 Overall, very impressive photos!


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