Sunday, 22 August, 2010

Some sights of London....

Last week we went to London. After living in the UK for the last ten months and transiting through Heathrow since 2005, finally went into the city.

 The day was full of adventures. First both me and my husband, we thought our train ticket was for 11 a.m. from Oxford. At 10.19 my husband discovered that it was actually for 10.31 a.m. The railway station is just next door to our house but we have to take the long route which takes about 15 minutes. At that point my husband wanted to go online and check why the ticket was earlier. I decided to make a run for it. Thankfully we were both ready and so out we dashed. During our half run/half walk we saw the train coming to the platform, people getting up....we entered the station 2 minutes to spare and somehow pushed our way through. The ticket checker waved us in and urged us to make 'a go for it'. The signal sounded. Thankfully the train was in platform number one. Rather than risking finding our compartment, we got up on the first compartment . It was as if the train was waiting for us to get up, it started immediately afterwards. What a relief it was to have caught the train!

Alighting in Paddington Station after an hour I was back in the hustle and bustle of a huge city after 10 months. I realized that in these ten months I have got used to the easy pace of Oxford, its meadows and parks and suddenly in the middle of a busy railway station I felt completely lost and non-pulsed. I was clinging onto my husband's hands for dear life. No longer will I look down upon the gaiya/dehati (rural) women who clutch their husband's arms while walking in Kolkata or Delhi.

Moving onto London's underground my feeling of being lost continued.After being pushed and then our queue broken, suddenly my latent aggressive competitive urban self woke up and I squared my shoulders and decided to fight for my rights and be firm about my place in the queue.  While standing in the queue heard a cacophony of different sounds, people talking in multitude of languages. It felt like I have landed up in the different world and it is really unbelievable that the distance between the two worlds is just an hour.

It was a cloudy day with little spattering of rains on and off and pretty windy. A good day to walk around, except for the rains.

Our first stop was the Buckingham Palace. Did not go inside, for that day our plan was to walk in London. Some of the photographs from our walking tour.

The Victoria Memorial and Buckingham Palace in the background. This somehow reminded me of Victoria Memorial back home in Kolkata. Both were built to show off the greatness of the same queen. Also the road (the Mall) looked completely like our Red Road/ Pranabananda Sarani. In fact British had built the Kolkata one in model of the London one. It was a deja vu moment when the two cities coincided and turned into one in my mind. We sat on the steps for a long time discussing the history of our nation. Finally decided to move on and let go of history.
The Horse Gaurd, Whitehall.
Big Ben
Cruising on River Thames
On the Queen's Walkway.
I know there are not enough photographs. I was too engrossed to take photos. These were just a few that I did remember to take. 

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