Whoops! Wrong London

Have you all heard the urban legend of the couple from Australia who booked a trip of a lifetime to London? The ones who didn’t check their destination carefully enough when they booked their flights…. and ended up in London, Ontario (population 353,000).

OK, it’s an unlikely nightmare to happen, but thanks to a lack of imagination on the part of whoevers’ job it is to come up with town names, there are a lot of identically named cities out there. So we’re setting out to help by answering the obvious question – what is there to do in the wrong London?

London, Ontario

Image via wikipedia

You were expecting to see the changing of the guard, sail along the Thames and ride on that massive Ferris wheel… Well the good news is the Thames is still there! No it’s not the same river, but as London, Ontario was named after the UK city some other landmark names came with it. The river is not navigable though so you might have to content yourself with a stroll along it’s banks.

Image via victoria-park

What to do: Downtown Victoria Park sounds just as happening as its East London (UK) counterpart, with regular events and festivals like Ribfest (celebrating barbecue ribs) and the sunfest world music festival. They seem a lot more proud of their squirrels though…

Perth, Scotland

Image by Wouter de Bruijn

I’m assured Perth in Scotland is a perfectly lovely, historic Scottish town. Still the climate might come as a bit of a shock to anyone who was expecting to disembark their aeroplane in sunny Perth, Western Australia. The differences don’t end there. Perth in Western Australia is regularly voted as one of the world’s most livable cities, and visitors rave about its excellent public transport system, its clean, uncrowded beaches and its vibrant cultural scene. Visitors to Perth, Scotland… well they don’t.

Image by neilh205

What to do: Again, nothing against the town, but I’d recommend getting out – you’re in the heart of Perthshire and there’s beautiful Scottish countryside all around you. Explore the southern highlands and peaceful Loch Tay, just over an hour’s drive away. If you want to stay in the town then the top sight is St. John’s Kirk, the oldest building in Perth, dating all the way back from 1159. And here’s food for thought; that’s 668 years before Europeans even landed in Perth, Western Australia!

Las Vegas, New Mexico

Image via wikipedia

Viva Las Vegas! But not if you end up in this one in New Mexico, which is a lot smaller and sleepier than it’s Nevada counterpart. Flashing lights and rollercoasters are replaced with historic Victorian homes, and instead of round the clock gambling you’ll find you cash instead goes to the local coffee shops and antiques stores.

Image via wikipedia

What to do:
Just 30 miles away is the Fort Union National Monument – for those of us not up on our American history, Fort Union was created to guard those on the Santa Fe trail and trade route, back in the good ole days of the wild wild west. You’re not far from the original route 66 if you want to make a classic USA road trip.
You could also make your own film tour. Many early western films were filmed nearby, as was the Coen brothers’ film, No Country for Old Men.

Moscow, India

So far all of our accidental landings haven’t been too bad, there’s been culture, scenery and infrastructure at least… But what if you set off for the imposing Russian capital Moscow and find yourself instead in the tiny hamlet of Moscow in the state of Kerala, India. The village is so small that I can’t even find a picture of it, so you’ll have to enjoy this photo of the fishing village of Anjengo instead:

Image by Emmanuel Dyan

During the Cold War the former Soviet Union enjoyed a lot of influence in the state of Kerala, which resulted in the village changing its name in Moscow’s honour. If you visit you’ll also find a lot of famous Russian names such as Lenin, Stalin, Brezhnev and Natasha, though the names’ popularity has declined a lot since the fall of the USSR.

Paris, Idaho

Image from sagres.com

You’d have to take a long detour from the UK in order to accidentally end up in Paris Texas. But what would tip you off that you’re in the wrong spot? It might be that the small community of about 600 provides a warmer welcome than the famously indifferent French. Or perhaps you’ll notice that the cafe culture is a little lacking… Paris Texas was founded by Mormons, so you’re unlikely to find much coffee here.

Image via wikipedia

What to do: Don’t miss the grand Paris Tabernacle. It’s not likely that you will – this grand sandstone church is the only real landmark in the town. It’s an impressive sight, constructed in by Mormon pioneers in 1889 and capable of seating 2000 – that’s the entire population of the town almost four times over!

Any other city pairs you can think of? And does anyone want to admit to ending up in the wrong town by mistake? Go on, we won’t tell anybody!

Top image of Thames River, Ontario by abdallahh