In my previous post I had promised to take you along with me on a journey to London; and I have returned to keep that promise. My train reached the Euston station around 12:35 ish in the noon. The signs in the station were clearly marked and in no time, we found our way out. Before leaving the station we purchased our Oyester cards and Hop-on Hop-Off Bus cards making it valid for a certain date.
With Oyester Cards, one needs to pay a minimum amount of money to purchase the card, and a minimum top-up for travelling. Thereafter, these cards can be topped up with pay-as-you-go balance whenever required. Also, it is to be kept in mind that Oyester cards are valid for a lifetime; and if you want to return them, then you can demand for a refund.
Leaving the station the first sight that hit me, was the harsh sun bringing a frown to every face. I was decked up in my coat , muffler and caps; but the heat was so strong that they were of no use to me. All I needed was sunglasses and unfortunately of my hypermetropia, I cannot wear glasses save if they have powers in them. We hired a cab to our hotels. My friend and I got off at the YMCA London, Fitzroy Street while my parents got off at the Holiday Inn in Carburton Street. Both the lodgings were a walking distance from each other. We had planned to have lunch and meet at the Holiday Inn.
During our check in to the YMCA, I was so happy to see many Indian faces around. I even met a Bengali lady with whom I chatted for a while before hurrying off to the room to freshen up. After lunch, we decided to set out for some casual sightseeing.
As we were nearing the main street, I could hear music being played somewhere. It was then that I saw this gentleman playing a lovely tune. That tune was almost nostalgic. It was a blend of modernity and age-old traditions, much like the city itself. I thought to myself that this was the perfect welcome to the modern city of ancient history.
“Life is filled with secrets. You can’t learn them all at once.” ― Dan Brown,
While we were walking, we came across this church, St Mary Magdalene Church. Instantly, it invoked in me the feelings that I had while reading the Da Vinci Code. I remembered , so many secrets and histories that lie unearthed in the world. But soon I realised that I was drifting off to the philosophical side, and had to focus on enjoying every moment of my vacation. The Church unfortunately was closed and so we just walked across the circumference.
A level below the street, I found this beautiful seating arrangement. This was part of the church’s recreational activities. There was a table tennis room, a study room and even an open air sitting porch.
Since, the church was closed and time was running out, we decided not to waste time and head to someplace and When in London , it has to be the Thames. To be honest, we were budget travellers and also wanted to ride the local buses, so we decided to figure out our way from the bus route. We got up on a 88 and soon realised we had gone the other way round. Nevertheless we stayed on the bus and toured around a major part of the city until the bus stopped at the Vauxhall Bus station. A short walk from the station was the Vauxhall Bridge and the river Thames.
In case you are wondering, or will wonder later, Vauxhall Bridge runs across the southern part of the River Thames and the Tower of London and Tower Bridge is way up ahead North. This was a slightly different part of the river, however, the Tower Bridge will also be covered in the subsequent posts.
This is a view of the Vauxhall Bridge from its right bank. From where I was standing while shooting this photograph, to my right was the River Thames and the London Eye, to my left was a thinning strip of the river with boats . Behind me were large complex buildings and in front of me was the city.
And yes, some lovely seagulls and ducks were taking a much-needed summer bath in the middle of the river.
Streamers and ferries were passing by. I have always wondered what their purposes are. Especially when I see no one inside them.
Though very far away, the London Eye still looked Grand and over powering. This intimidating structure reminded me of an eagle. An Eagle is mighty, powerful, a symbol of royalty and keeps a watch over everything much like the London Eye isn’t it? Though it appeared to be still, the Eye was in motion and rotating with people inside its numerous compartments.
Did I not mention of huge complex buildings before? Well, I was talking of these. On a closer look these buildings do not look as technical as they look here. There are beautiful fountains and rows of planted flowers inside the huge gates.
Interestingly, since summer time has started in Manchester and (in London as well), I saw the bright sunlight stayed on till 8 pm or later. Thus, when time flew by no one knew. We decided to call it a day and head to our lodgings. There was a time for dinner service in our hostel and we certainly did not want to miss it. Further, we were all quite tired and exhausted after a long journey and sightseeing.
However, young blood prevails in my friend and me ; and we made our own little plan of roaming the streets at night. Well just a little walk, to be honest ! And it would be unfair to see such a beautiful city by the day and not enjoy its essence by the night as well.
So, Next Week Sunday, do come back for my adventures in the City Which Never Sleeps.