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London: Love It or Hate It

Tower Bridge
A week into the London 2012 Summer Olympics and the spotlight is firmly set on the English capital.

Angie's and my opinion on London has always differed with her love of the arty side of the capital and my unwavering dislike of its atmosphere.

So in true fairness here are our arguments on why to love or hate London.

Angie's reason why you should love London

For me London can be summed up in one word. Variety. I've found nowhere else where there is such a difference in culture between one suburb to the next.

The markets of Camden Town are among my favourites and I could spend hours perusing the stalls looking for bargains.

In stark contrast you can join the hoards of tourists ambling their way around historical sights such as Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square. London has so much history around every corner that I feel I'll never get to discover it all.

Some of the UK's best art galleries and museums can also be found in the capital and I can easily dedicate a day each to both the National History Museum and the Tate Modern Art Gallery.

Paul's reasons to hate London

My overall experience of any trip to London is that of the sheer rudeness of the city.

From people barging past me in Euston station concourse as they hurtle towards the tube station to people's inability to smile if you catch their eye whilst sitting on the tube.

Despite its occupants there's no doubt that London is home to some impressive landmarks. I am fond of Covent Garden and Camden Town yet it's getting there that proves difficult for me.

I like to have a sense of where I am in comparison to other places. Whilst I have no problems in cities such as New York and Sydney mainly due to their grid liked streets, I will always struggle in London and can easily be found wandering around oblivious to which way is North.

The underground does herald more success with an easy to follow (yet geographically incorrect) map. Yet when I emerge into daylight I still have no idea where I am.

Maybe hate is a strong word but London still remains a place I want to avoid.

What is your opinion on London? Why do you love or hate the city?

Photo credit: Anirudh Koul