Quiet, as you would imagine an owl, waiting in the branches of a tree, just watching life goes by, was my impression of Leeds, this city in the north part of England, almost 200 miles away (320 kilometers) from London. I went there with a couple of friends and I didn’t realize how quiet the city was until one of them mentioned it.
We were in the main spot of the city, called the Millenium Square, around 3pm and I could only hear our footsteps on the floor. It wasn’t a busy square, filled with children running around, or teenagers posing as adults and no music coming from the bars and cafes around the piazza. In this square -thankfully- there weren’t even pigeons eating and pooping -that is all they do, those annoying birds- no, this was an empty and quiet square.
The city has many interesting features, like the Kirkgate Market, which is the largest covered market in Europe, and the Trinity Leeds Mall, one of the biggest malls in the UK, compared to the Westfield Mall in London. My favourite part of the city is that they have built its identity around the owls, which are part of their coat of arms. Nowadays in Leeds you can find over 25 spots with an owl figure, whether like a big and bright golden statue, like the ones in the Civic Hall, or like discrete stone ones in the top of an unknown building. There is even a tourist trail with its respective map where you can find all the owls in the city.
As we were walking back to the bus station we approach the river Aire and its towpath and we could hear, again, nothing but the sound of the water passing by. Beautiful city with beautiful squares and buildings, but as calmed and quiet as it was when we just arrived, the owl-city remained, waiting for the next visitor to approach.
Here are the rest of the pictures from our trip to Leeds.