for fellow travellers

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

London - a home away from home

For Indians traveling abroad to the western world, London is like another home, for me it seemed a bit like Mumbai. You can easily hear hindi being spoken on the roads at various places. Saree and salwar suit clad women are seen at shopping areas in plenty. Numerous small general store sort of shops being managed by Bangladeshis who on first appearance look like Indians.
You can roam all over Europe but once you come to London you feel relaxed and at home ground, the reasons maybe loads of relatives and friends in London, familiar language, lot of asians around and friendly english people. I have experienced this thrice that when I am standing (with loads of luggage) at the bottom or top of an escalator in a tube station an englishman would come and help me with the luggage of his own. If you are looking lost and trying to decipher your way around with a map invariably the passers by on their own try to help you out - this happens only in England believe me.

Our stay this time was at Citadines Trafalgar Square Aparthotel, quite centrally located and walking distance from the tube station. We took the underground from the Heathrow airport to our hotel, which I thought was too much adventure considering the amount of luggage we had and a baby on stroller. We had our Oyster cards with us which we had purchased from VFS-UK,Delhi. We had even got one for my son who was eleven at that time and
the officials at the tube station in Whitechapel told us that we need not have got one for him, we could have got a day ticket worth one or two pound a day for him which would have been cheaper or us. We caught the Piccadily line the only one from the Heathrow Airport it was a rush and we changed from Hammersmith to the District line (green). Luckily we had to just walk across the platform for a change in line and not go up and down on escalators or stairs and the station was not crowded, phew! that was really lucky!! Though we had got down on the station after seeing that it had facilities for handicapped people. Then we got down at Embankment and just around the corner was our hotel.
It was chillingly cold that day and it had just rained. We settled down in our rooms which were miniscule, as compared to other aparthotels where we had stayed esp in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. After that we wore our jackets and walked across the pedestrian bridge to London Eye and took a flight.

Pedestrian Bridge

Inflight London Eye
After that we again crossed the bridge and went across to Trafalgar square. It was lovely.

Nelson's column

Just before going back to the hotel we bought some provisions from TESCO. We were staying in London for 4 days and we had to arrange our own meals.

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