I should have done it a long time back. I mean visiting London. After many hectic business-oriented months, I decided that it is time for a break. But where? Being a travel buff, I had already explored every bit of Asia; the whole continent feels like home. And nobody wants to feel like home when abroad. This time I wanted to visit a place that’s Oh so British. Nothing could be a better place for my jaunt than the capital city of UK, London itself. But unlike tourists, I wanted to discover London as the locals do.
Hitches and Glitches
Being 30 and single, it was easy to make plans and get away. But since most of my friends are married or in a relationship, it wasn’t easy for them to just drop off everything and join me in my London expedition. The fact that I’ll have to travel alone left me wondering whether the trip will turn out to be something like I have pictured. Since the travel bug had bitten me already, without much thought, I just started browsing the web for flight booking, attraction tickets, and the scariest of all, the accommodation. I was fortunate enough to land on a website called londonhotels4u.com from where I booked a 5 star hotel at a reasonable price. Got a breath of fresh air once the booking was confirmed! And I posted my declaration on Facebook as “Flying to London”.
“Flying to London”
I am not really fond of flying but that’s the only time when you can read peacefully. Reading is my first love. But unfortunately, I couldn’t spend much time with my love during the flight as I had another Indian sitting next to me. That man kept talking about Southall and advised me to visit it during my tour. Since I had enough time, I included it in my itinerary. I’ll soon reveal how my experience of visiting Southall turned out to be. Finally, we landed, and a land of sights, sounds, and smells were right there in front of my eyes and also the cab waiting to shuttle me to the hotel door.
A Heaven Away from Home
The moment I stepped in Grange City Hotel, I could feel the luxury it exudes. I was allotted an en-suite room on 11th floor which made my stay a memorable one. As I entered the room, the windows framing unparalleled views of Tower Bridge swept me off my feet. I couldn’t have asked for a better room. I fell asleep as I lay down on the bed which is quite unusual for me. Next day, I was all set to explore all that’s unique in London but before that, I fuelled myself up with a delicious breakfast at the hotel restaurant. The weather turned out to be foul that day, which turned me off as I was longing for the sunshine. I headed into the town with my best friend in hand, my camera, and an umbrella.
Yes, that’s the most unusual thing I discovered about London. Nowhere will you find history staying in harmony with the modern than in London. Since i was particularly inclined to explore all things British, the major attractions on my “to do list” were Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and of, course Thames. I headed towards Tower of London, just a short stroll away from my hotel. Everything from the crown jewels and gothic architecture to the stories of the prisoners, who were executed, filled my head with a lot to talk about when I reach home. Quite interestingly, I took a picture of Tower of London standing in harmony with the modern skyscrapers. Isn’t that amazing?
After taking a step back in time, I came back to the present and headed towards Tower Bridge. Before that, I had only seen it in Hollywood blockbusters like Harry Potter and my personal favorite, Bond’s The World is Not Enough. I hired a taxi, crossed the bridge, and retraced the most memorable boat chases in Bond’s movies.
There has been a great buzz about magnanimous London skyline which pulled me to take up a London Eye flight. And believe it or not, the vista was way more wonderful than I could ever imagine.
The whirling waterway cutting through the very heart of London, Thames is what makes this city alive. My trip to London couldn’t have been complete without walking along this magnificent waterway. I asked a local to click a photograph of me and she was quite polite in doing that. After enjoying a stroll alongside the whirling water, I decided to cruise down Thames.
I took a RIB boat ride along Thames that filled my heart with thrill and excitement. Literally, I felt like James Bond chasing the female assassin in the movie. After a thrilling ride, the day had to end with fulfilling dinner, which it eventually did. I headed to the Lutetia Bar and Brasserie right in my hotel and relished a delicious meal overlooking the Piazza and the historic Roman Wall.
Little India in London
Hanging on my words I gave to that man in the flight, I thought to visit Southall next day and the experience was quite the opposite of what I expected. Believe it or not, right in London, I discovered a little India. In the dark grey weather, Southall turned out to be an oasis of color and excitement. Enticing aromas of spices, loud Bhangra music in the air and mazes of shops, Southall is truly a feast to the senses.
The little shops in the bazaar really evoked the shopaholics in me. I was ready to give a cardiac attack to my credit card but before that, my stomach started rumbling. And I dropped in a wonderful Indian Restaurant called Chandni Chowk, named after Delhi’s oldest market square. Tandoori delights and curry truly tantalized my taste buds, though the dessert was not as enticing. Ahh… If only, there could be a way to thank that man.
My London trip was one to cherish for years to come. Now I know why Londoners are so proud of their city. Three days are clearly not enough to explore this vibrant city. I’ll back soon London!
About the Author:
Sonam is a passionate traveller and loves to share her experiences. She believes that hands on experience at any destination are the best guidance for the travellers visiting the respective place. This is the reason she leaves no stone unturned to mention even the most trivial incidents in her write-ups.