Once you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, there’s no turning back and so, preparing for my second Euro trip was nothing short of exciting! London is an iconic destination well set on the world map that every travel enthusiast wants to visit, and for all the right reasons. I had my well planned list ready, but nothing quite prepares you for what London really has to offer in spite of my long five week vacation.
Iconic London Moments
London boasts of numerous museums, but my personal favourite was the British museum which houses a remarkable collection spanning over 2 million years of human history centred around the magnificent Great Court, including the world famous Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures and Egyptian mummies. The Natural History Museum also lured us in with its fascinating dinosaurs. Every woman loves shopping and London had me very pleasantly surprised with its countless options.
Spending my entire day at Harrods was one of the best days, where I was thoroughly pampered taking my endorphins to a whole new level, thanks to designer labels like Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen, Fendi, Gucci, Versace and the list is endless. The highlight of the day was walking through the smells and fragrances that evoked the air of theatre backstage to produce the perfume Misia by Chanel. Being alongside very talented perfumers and the head manager, eating beautifully crafted chocolates topped with sugar crystallized flowers and sipping on champagne at Chanel’s private event, is a memory I’ll long cherish.
Reel Meets Real Life
Another very Hollywood moment involved walking down the beautiful roads of Notting Hill in search of the blue door, just like in the movie starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. You know your birthday was indeed memorable when you’re at Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square happily eating away at Prêt à Manger.
The London Eye really does captivate one with spectacular views, specially at night. Madame Tussauds, Shrek’s Adventure, Sea Life Aquarium, Tower Bridge, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, St. Paul’s Cathedral I’d been there all. But to really feel royal, we treated ourselves to the Horse Guards Parade at Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s Official London Residence between the royal parks of St. James and Green Park. I am also a big football fan and didn’t miss the opportunity of getting home souvenirs from my favourite club.
Being at King’s Cross 9 and 3/4s station was another very exciting experience waiting to cross over through the portal and board the Hogwarts Express. You know what I’m talking about if you’re a Harry Potter fan. But when Hogwarts Express wasn’t available, travelling the London Underground, the oldest underground railway network in the world, was very fascinating.
The Foodie Bucket List
Ticking off another on my bucket list, I enjoyed the view at The Shard on the 33rd floor at Hutong restaurant relishing Peking Duck with my friend. Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, witnessing the live way of the Cross on Good Friday and enjoying Easter with family, were just added bonuses that I have only my parents to thank for.
When I returned back home, I was not too surprised that London had left its mark on me. I miss the social etiquette with which people treat one another like a simple ‘sorry’ or ‘are you alright love?’ at the grocery store and more importantly the sane driving skills coupled with decency to let pedestrians cross the road first. Don’t see that happening in Goa!! I also miss the no jumping queues rule that everyone strictly adheres to.
But above all, I am first and foremost a foodie, and while I can easily find a decent English breakfast of fish and chips at home, what I really really miss is thick luscious very delicious whole British milk! Until next time then.