In April-May 2016, My wife Beena and I, traveled from London to Siliguri (India), mainly by trains. We crossed ten countries, 17,500 km, crossed under the English Channel, crossed the Aral mountains, the great Siberian plains, lake Baikal, the Gobi desert, the great wall of China and lastly the Himalayas to reach home. This is the first leg of the journey.
Stay:There couple of budget hotels.We stayed at Airways hotel Victoria and St George's(B&B). This was our 2nd Visit to London.Still i think many things are left and need some more visits :) Places to visit in London 1)London eye 2)Sea Life 3)Piccadilly circle 4)Truffle Gate Square 5)Buckingham palace(can be seen from inside only in summers) otherwise 6)Lords for cricket fan 7)Arsenal Stadium ,Manchester Stadium 8)Durdle Door--awesome beach and great location.Must visit beach 9)Bath city 10)Stonehenge only picture taking point can be skipped. 11)City tour 12)Cruise Ride. Food: 1)For Non-Vegetarian there are lot of options. 2)For Vegetarians you may need to search around a bit. Tips: 1)For Major Attraction you can take combo packs 2)Take Oyster cards it is good for travelling in tubes. 3)Or else you can go for day pass as well 4)Take Hop on Hop off Tours. 5)There are few online sites which provides offers as well you can check for them.
London was the eye of the war storm and history will never forget the Blitz. German bombers appeared in London's skies on September 7, 1940, and for 57 consecutive days London was bombed. During the Blitz, 18,000 tons of high explosives were dropped on England killing a total of 18,625 men, 16,201 women and 5,028 children.
Day 1: London To Paris
[Written By Aarti]
Finally the day came. We have not slept for more than 2 hours in last 24. Absolutely hectic but the thought of visiting 28 countries is keeping us super energetic. Oh! Did I tell you that we are also moving to US for good so we had to pack all our bags, vacate the house and arrange sea freight from UK to USA as well. So we had two jobs at hand – Moving from one continent to another and our BIG Roadtrip planning!!
Saturday morning came and we got up at 8 am, started loading our car and pasted the car stickers.
Now was the time Dhanno had dreamt all her life, she looked very beautiful with all the accessories fully loaded! Few of our friends and Kapilians joined us at Priya’s Tandoori (Bath Road, London) for the last supper. We had Paranathas (Oh!! This place is heaven and best for Paranathas just in case you are in London and want to try) and after that we did our last good byes and they all flagged us off (bit of cry and those emotional hugs – You know what I am taking about). Surely we were sad but had to say good bye with a heavy heart to all of them.
I bought euro tunnel tickets a week in advance which came around for GBP 79.00 one way. We decided to choose this boring journey because we wanted to cross the country ASAP. We were running late to reach Euro Tunnel, as they wont allow you if you are late and any last minute ferry tickets, they can be quite heavy on the pocket!
Euro tunnel takes only 35 mins from Folkestone to Calais as compared to Ferry from Dover to Calais which takes roughly 2.35hrs. Our Euro tunnel departed at 15:50 hrs and we are in France at 16:35. Wohoooo!!!
And as we entered the first leg of out journey i.e. France, driving pattern changed. I am not so comfortable driving on the opposite side and i have been doing all of the travel planning, so it comes down to my personal driver i.e. Akhil Pathania to display his skills .. he he
Now, we are on right side of the road while our steering is also on the right side, double whammy .. init!
We took our first pitstop in Paris, staying at Akhil’s old mates and it was an absolute pleasure meeting them In France. Thanks Priya Soni & Pankaj Singh :-)
As we crossed Arc-De-Triomphe roundabout, our GPS screamed “Take the 7th Exit”, we were like did I hear that rite. Yes 7th exit! Something not very common in UK/USA/INDIA. By the end of our first day, we strongly believe, had this been UK, we would have received 2 penalty tickets at least – Let’s see if they send us tickets to UK :-)
Attracting over 14 million international tourists per year, the spectacular city of London is one of the most visited travel destinations all over the world. Be it the monumental Buckingham Palace or the beautiful National Gallery this city offers everything more than you can ever expect. It also has some of the world's finest restaurants which serve excellent local and international cuisines. Other tourist spots include the Royal Air Force Museum London, the Tower of London and the St Paul's Cathedral.
Well, I don’t have to say much I guess. It’s London – one of the most famous cities in the world. It’s definitely a must-see city. I would recommend everyone to go there. There is so much to do, see and explore. Next to the well known sights, you should also spend some time getting lost in the city. What I liked most is the inter nationality. So many different people, different languages, different cultures wherever you go.
Last leg in London, as I prepared to fly back home. It was time to celebrate Shakespeare's 450th birthday at The Globe - watching Much Ado About Nothing on a 5 quid groudling ticket just like they used to in his days. It unfolded about five feet in front of me and I stood riveted for three hours, feeling like I was part of the play every second. I could see the actors enjoying themselves – emoting, singing, dancing, and each able to play an instrument. How cool it must be to be so multi-talented, aye?!
I also raided Borough Market this time - Ethiopian food, dosas, juices and Mediterranean snacks. Whee!
Spectator Line: Westminster, Mile 25
Backdrop: Big Ben
Four hours. Tears, sweat and elation. Not theirs, mine.
I made a detour on the road, it was time to make a dream come true. Watching the London Marathon was an unexpected opportunity and it turned out to be the best few hours on the road so far. I lapped up every second of standing there for four straight hours, blinking back the tears and cheering with every breath I had. The sheer grit of human determination in chasing a goal shone through every single runner who passed by – reigning champions, elite Olympians, wheelchair racers, blind runners with their guides and most importantly the general runners.
Pain, pleasure and perseverance. Perfect!