I have been a Delhi as long as I can remember, ask me anything about the city and I would know. But i have had a fascination for London since I was 7. Seen it in movies, read about it in books and off course the travel shows aired on multiple channels today have taken this beguile to another level.
So a few months back when a family holiday was to be planned, me and my brother took charge. He loves to plan and I love London, so we knew we would a wonderful job in planning a trip to the city of dreams.
As we booked our flight, shopped for our attires and made a list of places-to-be visited, the excitement was brewing and it was natural. Once, we boarded the flight, almost 12 hours – we had a connecting flight – I knew I would read ‘London’ by Edward Rutherfurd and watch ‘Notting Hill’ – one of my childhood favourites. But, nothing happened as per the plan. I slept almost the whole flight and airline sickness hijacked me. All I wanted was to land.
So almost 8 hours later, when we landed in Amsterdam, I was exasperated. I knew I had another flight to board and another two hours of torture.
But surprisingly, I landed with a happy face and my excitement took over all the fuss I had been through. I was now in THE London – the people, who ruled our country for years before we got our independence. I had heard a lot of stories that my grandparents narrating when they witnessed the British rule. So I help but wonder, what was it about the city that I wanted to come to it? And the answer was simple, London School of Fashion. I have always wanted to study there and I made sure I visited it before I departed back to Delhi.
I learnt no city can go without demonstrations, just like in Delhi- where we are used to the hartals and vivid fasting to get what we want from the government – London also had a few going on. At times, while walking on street, I felt I was deported back to Delhi, there were so many Indians and Pakistani’s that had settled in London that every second face I saw took me back to India. Nevertheless, the picturesque beauty, the weather and cleanliness made it clear where I was. So we had planned to take the Hop on Hop off bus the first day and thats exactly what we did. The bus starts from Picadly Circus, if you have seen DDLJ, which I’m sure you have then this is where the pigeons are. The bus took us all around London. Now, tip 1: girls please tie your hair, because the breeze will entangle them so bad and you will spend hours to detangle them.
We saw the London Bridge, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Central Park, Hyde Park, Harrods, Oxford Street, the old London and the new London both. It was just the vibe of the city that made the experience indescribable.
The best part about the city is that you can shop till you drop. and I literally mean it. From the most expensive to cheap shopping, the city has philanthropy of options to shop. Just get dropped at Oxford street and commence. Now, make sure you don’t go on a Sunday as the market closes by 6.
Talking about food, the city will awaken your tastebuds. And if you think Indian food is scarce in the city let me tell you, I had the best Indian food in London.
Here are some pictures from the trip!