Friday, July 28, 2006

London - You colonial bloodsuckers here we come!!

I have crossed the Channel from mainland Europe into London. This is where we infact began our Eurotrip...and this is also where we ended it three months later. And it undoubtedly was the most exhilarating city of all...absolutely certain about that. Cant really explain why. But loved every bit of the ten (plus one) days we spent there.

Apart from Nice it was the longest time we were in any one European city. Every day filled with memorable moments. Here's a sample of them.

This is Jayendra Thobani, my dad's friend and with whom we stayed in London. Jayant uncle went out of his way to make us feel comfortable, and to help us enjoy our stay. It was a pleasure to stay with him, Charu aunty and their daughter Shweta. Some of the highlights of our trip were the dinnertime chats we had with Jayant uncle.

Our first indication that London was ridiculously expensive: the price for this 'On Sale' China dining set is a mind blowing 9,999 pounds - that is a cool 800,000 rupees at the exchange rate at that time. And this was the cheaper set. Another one was priced at 15,000 pounds!!!

Under the wisdom tree. Well not really, this is just one of hundreds of trees in Hyde Park, the amazing verdant sprawling parkland right in the heart of London.

The bright lights at Picadilly Circus

The Beefeaters at the Tower of London (thats where the Kohinoor is)...This guy gave easily the best guided trip I have ever had.

Yeah, it does look beautiful from down here. But getting on top was a total waste of time and lots of money

Our first experience of wine on the trip, and probably the best! From fine wine served by knowledgable experienced people at the Vinopolis (museum dedicated to wine), we steadily progressed(?) to off the shelf supermarket variety, and then reached the very depths when we had wine from a carton in Naples!! LOL :-)))) (to our defence we bought it thinking it is grape juice)

One of the two sporting pilgrimages that I had to do - Wimbledon and Lord's. Now have to be there for the real thing sometime...sometime someday

The Tower Bridge (no this is not the London Bridge which was falling down) seen while on a cruise on the River Thames

St. Paul's Cathedral, viewed across the river. This beautfiful domed church has in its basement the creepy commercial monstrosity called the 'Crypt Cafe'. Hearing sounds of casual conversation, tinkling of cutlery and occasional bursts of laughter within what is essentially a burial place was really really unnerving

Stonehenge: It is much smaller than you think. But the surroundings are straight from the original Windows XP rolling hillside wallpaper!! And we had a gorgeous sunny day to enjoy the trip to Stonehenge and the town of Bath

This is a ground in the city of Oxford. 'Oxford University' does not exist as a physical entity anywhere. It is a collection of colleges in Oxford collectively known as Oxford University. The walking tour given by an old old oh-so-propah Britisher, an alumni of Oxford was too good. His enthusiasm and pride while guiding us around his beloved Oxford was so evident, one could be sure this was pure pleasure and not work for him. Ok now why this ground is posted here is coz this is where Harry Potter learns to fly on his broom stick!!

On the way back, another stop over in London. Caught up with Herin and had a great time going around London for the second time. Its amazing to catch up with friends whom you have known since you were small kids, in a totally new and foreign location!!


Blogger kavin said...

Lucky guy...U seem to have travelled a lot over the years...baaki kya chalu hai...

2:19 pm  
Blogger rucha said...

hey parag,
ata tuzya kade europe photos ahet, diary ahe...ata tari update kar tuza blog!!!!!

12:12 am  
Blogger niranjan said...

Parag!!. strangest of coincidences, I was reading a post on greatbong, saw a comment by a Parag about France and stereotypes, followed the link, and turns out tis our very own kitty!

4:45 pm  

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