Sunday, April 01, 2007

London Trip

I have known modern cities of one category , that in the process of becoming 'modern' wash away the remains of their glorious past, fading away the beautiful past they have had, where tall structures replace the older ones. And I have known cities of the other category, which still preserve and renovate their old glorious structures (In India, to a large extent, Kolkata, would fit this bill but minus the renovation part though).

London, is more of the second category, whose magnificient buildings and architectural remnants, will transport you a century or two behind, whilst it still being the cultural melting pot of today with its diverse population and cosmopolitan outlook. London strikes a fine balance between modernity and past, an aura which very few other cities (like Paris, Rome) could offer. You have tall skyscrapers at Canary Wharf here and you have the heritage buildings and sites here. This distinctive blend of new and old is what impresses me the most, like many other visitors.

After my two weeks of arrival to UK, thanks to a senior of mine here, I visited London. It was a rainy day, so the visit was confined only to select few places.

The Tube: It all began with an open ticket which covers all the zones, in the Underground Tube (Metro train) from the Liver Pool Street statrion . London has one of the best public transportation in the world in the form of tubes which is one of the quickest and easiest way of getting around London. The whole of London is bifurcated into 6 zones, with central London being the first zone and the outer London as the 6th (last) zone. There are totally 12 lines (routes) like Jubilee line, Central line, Picadelly line etc. that operate in these zones, which cover almost the whole of London. (In Calcutta Metro, there is only a single line Tollygunge to Dum Dum, covering most of the city). All the Underground Tube stations have user friendly large display boards and the Map-pamphlet distribution box. By using the map it is just a child's play to know where and how you want to go the destination. You must see this official site of the London Underground.

East Ham: After meeting a friend in Barking, we headed to East Ham, which is known to be Tamil and Sri Lankan area in London. East Ham has many Indian stores, South Indian DVD shops and yes, a Murugan Kovil also. Along with many other South Indian hotels, there was our very own Saravan Bhavan, where we began our breakfast with Masala Dosai. I came to know there is another Mini Indian area called SouthHall in London, which is predominantly occupied by Punjabi and Gujju.

Westminster: From East Ham, Westminster was our next destination. There I had a few click-me-in-front-of-this photo sessions with Big Ben and London Eye. A long walk around the Thames river and the bridge gave a good view of most of the central London.

Trafalgar Square: Walking across the roads, we reached the Trafalgar Square and National Gallery. Wow, I was dumbounded by its magnificient sculptures of the large lions (they were 4 in number) surrounding a pillar, in the large arena outside the National gallery building. The fountains adjoining them were equally beautiful and soothing. It was a rainy day and given the short time, most other places couldn't be covered.

Baker Street: This place has the world renowned Madam Tussuad's Wax Musuem. But we had less time left, so left it for next time to see. The evening became rainy by that time and given that everyone was terribly hungry, we searched a Pizza Hut to treat our taste buds with some spicy hot pizzas. Later in the night, I left to Reading, 45 mins from London Paddington station, to one of my classmates house.

That was all, a chota sa London Trip, a trip which invites to come more and more!


Namaste said...

hi fren

i like yr blog and style . am also interested on this site so that i have also blog

plz check and comment me and mail me

~Lord Anshul said...

man..u in uk..awesome..
and when in not forget to watch football match..u'll know wat madness is

Kasi Alagappan said...

Thanks Namaste
@Anshul: are haan will check football and Lords at London :)

Richard said...

Really nice pictures. I always dreamed to visit England, especially London. I know that London is one of the greenest cities in the world. The eight Royal Parks alone add up to 5,000 acres.
Interesting fact that Londoners are lucky, especially when it comes to the National Lottery. The London pay-out office has awarded £757 million to Londoners since 1994. In total, the 11 pay-out offices have handed out £5.1 billion, which averages out at £469m each. If I win in the National Lottery I will rent big and huge Limousine London and drive across the city. Also I want to visit all famous London's sightseeing, such as the Big Bang, London Eye, Westminster Abbey and others. There are so many places which must have been seen.