Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Day in London

After enjoying a week in the quieter suburbs and enjoying the countryside, I couldn't wait to go to London on saturday... I mean du-h, it was 'the' London... I had always dreamt of going to the Buckhingham Palace and trying to get one of those royal "robotic" guards to smile !! I had thought of all these wierd things I'd try in front of them just to make them emote...

Anyway, back to the point.. London. Yes, We (me & my roomie) started very late... I have a perennial waking up problem, you see. It was noon when we reached the Waterloo station. It was nothing like any of the railway stations I'd seen before... amazing!
Well, we're inside the station for not more than 2 minutes... and an announcement goes -
"Due to an immediete security threat, everybody is required to leave the station at this moment"
What the?????
We tried not to panic & just left the station.... Although nothing apparently happened later, for a moment though, I was s-c-a-r-e-d! I'm not sure whether it was because I felt something would blow up the station or because of the fact that I was being stared at by a few suspicious 'gora's..for just being a colored man.... but in hindsight, you can't really blame them.

We then took a walk on the Thames walkbridge... it was quite nice and cool. Then we headed to the famous Trafalgar square. This place is truly fantastic... its so picturesque. No wonder there were hundreds of tourists there... we took a few nice snaps there.. Didn't get a chance to go to the National gallery... some other time maybe.

Next stop was the Buckhingham Palace. Since it was sunny, we decided to walk all the way... But what a dreamy-eyed-tourist like me forgot was the legendary English weather. Within 10 mins, it started to rain! Dammit! Hmmm, 20 wet minutes later, we reached the palace only to find out that it is open for public only for 3 months in a year... aaarrrrrghhhhhhh...
This day is turning out to be a dampner, eh...
Atleast the sun came out again.... we met our friends as expected in front of the palace...
As per the plan we had to go to Madame Tussauds and The London Eye before 8 pm... Decided to have a snack on the way near Oxford Street... That street is amazing.... it is the centre of London, and on a saturday evening, it is absolutely packed with people... But somehow, It wasn't half as suffocating as Brigade Road in Bangalore.

The snack break lasted an entire hour. We had to scrap Madame Tussauds.
Headed towards the London Eye. Fastest way to get there... London Underground (More details about this in the next post)
It was a great sight. It is about 450 feet high & rotates very slowly, giving the person on it panoramic views of London City from various heights & positions.
After waiting for about 45 mins to get tickets, we were finally aboard the eye.
I'm generally not too fond of heights, but since it moved very slowly & also the fact that it was night time, it wasn't as scary. Once we reached the pinnacle, the view it offered of the city was purely breathtaking. It was similar to an ocean, except that instead of water, it was only lights, lights & more lights.... as faaaaar as I could see. Gosh! I dunno how Bangalore matches up with this...

Back on land, we went back to oxford street to hang out with another friend. We had a very nice Indian dinner at a restaurant called "Bombay Palace". We were chatting for so long that when we were finally done, it was 11:30 in the night. Time to head back...
Reached the Waterloo only to find out that the next train to Basingstoke was another 30 mins away. While waiting at the station, we found out that there are beggars here too... eh, a bit more "sophesticated", I dare say!! well, they beg in english.. for starters :))
On our way back home on the train, I kept thinking... well, I am livin' it up here in London.. ain't I?? My mind went back to a couple of nightclubs we passed by as we were heading back... They sure looked inviting...almost magnetic sometimes... but we didn't want to try everything in the first visit itself...especially since we didn't know much about the city yet..
But I'll be back baby...I will be back.

Currently Listening to: Lucky - Sun Zara

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