Travel Diaries – My Experiences – Part I -London

Hi friends! I’ve kept my word and here you go. In my last post, for those of you who have missed it, I had given an introduction to my Travel Diaries. From this post onwards I will write about my Europe Travel Diaries, beginning with London. I’m not going to give a daily account of what we did. If I start, then I am not going to stop. For the next one year, I will go on and on about our trip. I will try to make it short and sweet for you guys.

One good thing about computers and related gadgets is that by sitting in the comfort of your own home you can book anything anywhere in the World; distance doesn’t matter at all. So, the one principle we followed when planning for our holiday was to book everything in advance from home. We would, in the due course, save a lot of time, energy and money (Oh yeah, online bookings are a little cheaper too; wink wink). Starting from the cab which was going to pick us up at the Airport to the various attractions we were gonna visit, we booked everything online and carried a print with us. Believe me, we did not face any issue whatsoever.

20170904_164641Our first day in London was a Monday. We had kept it quite light, as we had anticipated jet lag hitting us a little too hard. By the time we reached the place and freshened up it was about half past two. We decided to leave the house and do whatever was possible. We had to travel by the DLR (District Line Railways). Our first experience of waiting for the train and getting into it was amazing. I still remember the moment as if it was yesterday. We decided to go to Leadenhall Market. Since it was already way past lunch time, we decided to have a bite and then start off.

Leadenhall Market is one of the oldest markets in London. The market dates from the 14th Century. It is a covered market of London, which sells fresh food. It was used to represent the Diagon Alley in the movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The architecture of this place is simply amazing. The ornate roof structures are painted green, maroon and cream. The place is such that, once you set your eyes on it, you can’t take off. We spent a good half an hour at this place clicking pictures, shopping and roaming around.

20170904_174408From Leadenhall Market, we walked to the Ruins of St. Dunstan in the East. The Church of St. Dunstan really survived a lot. It survived the Great Fire of London in 1660s and then, The London Blitz in the 1940s.  After the Blitz, the City of London Corporation decided to leave it as it is and make it a public garden. It is in a secluded side street and is filled with greenery and flowers. It is an excellent place to spend an evening writing something you have always wanted to.  You can also pick up a book and enjoy it there. If you are an artist, you can also sketch the place. If not anything, you can simply sit there and enjoy the beauty.

20170904_193152We spent about an hour at St. Dunstan and from there took a bus to Shoreditch. Shoreditch is an arty street in London. The graffiti on the wall was amazing. It is famous for its street art. You can understand what I mean to say when you have a look at the photos. After getting off the bus, we had to walk quite a bit, but it was worth the walk. After Shoreditch we decided to head back home.

In anticipation of a huge crowd at the attractions, we had booked all our tickets online. Our first tourist attraction at London was Madame Tussauds. It was super fun posing with the wax statues of the celebrities. My sister and I had already visited the Madame Tussauds in Singapore. My hubby had already visited the London on an earlier visit. It was completely new only for mom and dad. They really enjoyed it. It was fun to see them act as youngsters while they posed with their favourite celebrities.

After Madame Tussauds, we headed to 221 B, Baker Street. We did not visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum but we went to the Museum Shop. We went crazy at the shop. There were so many awesome things we wanted to buy. We clicked pictures in front of 221  B, Baker Street and then walked around the place. As it was lunch time we had lunch at a Pizzeria.

From there we headed to the famous Tower of London. We were lucky enough to see the Bascules open (the road opening for large ships to cross) at the Tower Bridge from the Tower of London. We wandered around slowly and reached the Tower of London. We saw the famous Koh-i-noor. We couldn’t take our eyes off it. Along with the Koh-i-noor we saw a lot of other precious stones which we had never heard of before. It was amazing. We went at least five rounds to see it.

After the Tower of London, we did a lot of other interesting things about which I will narrate in my next post. For now, this should be good enough. I know, I really talk a lot. My husband laughs at my narrative skills. If I start talking about a thing, I tend to explain so much in detail that the other person is sure to fall asleep.

See you soon..

Cheers!!!

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Travel Diaries – My Experience – Part I -London, Paris and Prague

20170905_185554Hi guys!! Yes, I’m aware. I promise the same thing again and again, but somehow fail in fulfilling it. For those who did not understand what I’m talking about, it’s just that I keep promising my friends that I will blog regularly and then, hit the snooze button after a few posts. I have various reasons for why I haven’t been able to do so, but that is no excuse… How have things been at your end? I am probably writing (I mean to say blogging) after about 2-3 months. Yes, I’m truly ashamed of myself. The other day when I was whining about how irregularly I blog, my hubby did make a good point. He said, ‘If you really want to blog, you will somehow find time for it,’. This motivated me. So, here I am.

The past three months had been too hectic. We were preparing for our first family trip abroad. We chose to have our holiday our way, which meant we were going to have to do everything from scratch ourselves from bookings to getting visas to planning our visits. We didn’t mind doing that, since our greatest advantage would be flexibility, which is what we wanted while travelling with senior citizen parents. It was a real task. All of us occupied in our own work for the trip along with our routine which would stare at us to (probably) say, ‘Hello, you didn’t take care of me today’. Here I go! That is why I could not blog (insert evil laugh).

Jokes and excuses apart, let me get back. After a lot of thought we zeroed in on three places for our holiday – London, Paris and Prague. We decided on the number of days of our stay at each place and then, began the planning for the trip, which was super fun. My sister chalked out an amazing itinerary for our holiday. If not for her, we would have probably not seen some of the secret amazing places (Oh, am I praising you too much? Let me stop it at this).  Our trip started off with a bang and there was no stopping. Mayur had specifically chosen September for our holiday. September is generally less touristy. We got to enjoy the beauty of all the places without any hassles. All the popular tourist places are, generally, a nightmare in tourist season. Mayur has had this experience in the past.

We flew to London from Mumbai. We spent good 5 days there and took the famous Eurostar train to Paris. From Paris we flew to Prague and then back home. Oh yeah, we didn’t get back home straight though. The day we were supposed to land, Mumbai had heavy rains. A Spicejet Plane skid off the runway and about half an hour before we could land our flight was diverted to Hyderabad. After we reached Hyderabad we did not get clearance to land (yes insert evil laugh). We flew to Chennai from Hyderabad. The plane landed, but we were inside the plane on the tarmac for about 6 hours. Yes, you read it right! We were then given accommodation by British Airways for a day at Chennai. Yes, it was a blessing in disguise and most of us had secretly wished for it. It was a truly enjoyable holiday right till the end, I must say.

This reminds me that the start of our journey was also equally thrilling. The cab which we took to the airport could have landed us on a hospital bed instead of the British Airways seat. The guy who was driving us to the airport was sleeping while driving. We (my sister and I were together) realised this and quickly told him to stop on the side, but he refused. He was more concerned about dropping us off fast and probably, winding up his duty for the day. I understand that it is sometimes hard for these cab drivers to manage. They also have a family to take care of, but they do not have any right to play with someone else’s life. So many things could’ve gone wrong that day. Thinking about that even to this day gives a sort of chill down my spine.

You would have got a gist of what my posts would be like in the days to come. It will be Travel Diaries only. This was an introductory post to give a glimpse of what I will be coming up with in the next few months. Yes, believe me. When I say, next few months I mean next few months in the sense that I will put up at least 4 posts a month. I don’t find any reason why you should trust me when I say this, but if you love reading my blog I am sure you’ll drop by to see.

See you soon..

Till then, Cheers!!!