Friday, August 22, 2008

London - Day1

Flair for travel is one bit. But, then I was dreaming of traveling alone for ages now. It was almost next to impossible if the destination was in this part of the world. To make it true, my initial idea was to do Oxford and Cambridge and experience the University towns. But, the travel goddess choose London.

Initially I dreaded. I weren't mentally prepared. ‘Three days London. All alone!’. But, all it takes for preparation is a night of peaceful sleep.

All the previous London plans had to be quickly dissociated and new ones made. First thing was to update home about my plan - ‘3 days London before departure. No CP, no calling card, no Internet; Just I-me-myself’.

It was 5 continuous hours of google with London Tube Map, Bus Map, Wiki travel and London Hotel Guide. I badly wanted to spend 3 days in central London, and didn't wanted Holiday Inn again. Holiday Inn is 1km from Heathrow Airport and was the obvious option given, but, I opted out. Why not 1km from Buckingham Palace? At the end of five hours I had 2 options. Huttons – a refurbished splendid Victorian building or Hotel Westminster. Since I took a while to decide, I only had Quality Hotel Westminster, Victoria.

Eastleigh to Greenford to Victoria was a laborious journey. I surely had to learn what traveling light means. :o)

If you land in Gatwick, you are gifted with a London Pocket Guide, which has detailed maps too. But, I had equipped with enough of wiki prints and self-guided walking tours. The hotel did equip me with a London Map from Yellow Pages, the best of all maps.

And here it goes….

London Day 1

I started exploring the place around.

London Victoria Station was just 5mins away from my Hotel.

The Queen’s Gallery

Buckingham palace – The official royal residence of the Queen.

All these days no one had ever stopped me, requesting for a snap. But, I was ganged at the number. I had at least 30+ asking me, if I could click a snap of theirs. Oops, the Nikon around my neck was the culprit. People with tripods and much sophisticated SLRs than mine. But, dunno why I never asked anyone for a click in return.

Green Park

St Jame’s Park

St James Park had flushed me into a Fairy Land. I could see the London Eye and Big Ben from the end of St James Park, an indication that I were near Thames. On exiting St James Park, we enter the Horse Guards.

Horse Guards - This building was a HQ to British Army. And the Cabinet War Rooms, where Churchill planned the end of Nazism. Run by the Imperial Was Museum, these have been left exactly as they were in 1945, with Churchill's chamber pot still visible.

I however couldn’t spot the Pelicans of St James' park. They are said to be descendants of a pair presented by Russia in 1650.

Frederick Duke of York - I walk up the Fedrick Duke of York Pillar. It was Falconry time there. But, I had already had witnessed a good show at Hursley. I exit at the ‘Gentleman’s Club’.

Gentlemen’s Club - Although not allowed without membership, its said to be a safe place of refuge.


I walked down towards Piccadilly Circus....

Continued .............. here

2 comments:

Madhu said...

Nostalgic.

Really proud of you that you did it alone. Sure I will tell you, it must have been an unforgettable experience.

From some of my memories:
http://picasaweb.google.com/gpitta/IBMUKVisit#4987259520058458130

http://picasaweb.google.com/gpitta/IBMUKVisit#4987259529749856274

http://picasaweb.google.com/gpitta/IBMUKVisit#4987259639083237394 - My favourite

How many more posts from the UK left?

Mridula said...

Akhila, thanks for taking me down the memory lane on a cold November day. Loved the images.

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