November 4, 2013
The Mayor and several members of the Philadelphia delegation arrived safely at London Heathrow Airport on Saturday, November 2nd.
Shortly after, the group traveled to William Penn’s gravesite to honor Philadelphia’s founder with a special plaque. Penn’s remains are in Buckinghamshire, which is just outside of London. He died in 1718—nearly 300 years ago. Mayor Nutter reflected on how much Philadelphia has evolved since Penn’s initial plans for the city. The Jordans Friends Meeting House has wanted to bring a City of Philadelphia official to Penn’s grave for many years. The organization was very excited about the Mayor’s visit.
After visiting the gravesite, the Mayor met with Temple students who were visiting London through Temple’s study abroad program. Another woman from West Philadelphia, Robin May, stopped the Mayor on the street in London after recognizing him. They took a moment to chat and take a picture. “No matter where in the world you are, Philly folks seem to pop up! I have a feeling this may be a reoccurring theme on the trip. Philadelphia is not only a global city—our residents are connected to every corner of the world too,” said Mayor Nutter.
On Saturday afternoon, some of the delegation attended a football match (aka soccer game) between Fulham and Manchester United. Man U quickly controlled the tempo of play and won 3-1. Football fans in England easily have the same level of passion as Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Sixers and Union fans.
After the game, the group headed to Brick Lane in East London for delicious Indian food. Everyone was struck by the diversity. Just walking around, one could hear Bengali and English being spoken.
On Sunday, the delegation toured London in cabs that PHLCVB arranged to be wrapped in “PHL” advertisements. It’s fitting that Philadelphia is able to be promoted while sightseeing in London.
Later that night, Mayor Nutter spoke at the World Travel Market Reception hosted by PHLCVB and Philadelphia International Airport. Jack Ferguson and Brian Said from PHLCVB were on hand and shared insights about Philly’s tourism industry. They shared that Philadelphia has reinvented itself during the past few years, and now the city is a key tourism destination in the U.S. Its international reputation has continued to improve, causing increased visits from people all over the world. Many people also come to Philadelphia to do business and attend conventions. Philadelphia International Airport has contributed to this success by providing convenient non-stop flights. Representatives from British Airways, American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Qatar Airways were present at the reception.
Re-post from phlinukandisrael.tumblr.com