One of the iconic booths!
The UK trip commenced in parallel with my new job. We had booked the tickets and a couple of weeks after, I was selected by my new employer (some publicity there!). However we spent less than 3 days in London. What were we thinking?
The idea of a
London Scotland holiday came up when one of our MBA friends from a decade ago was in Dubai over a weekend, and suggested that we do a sort-of-reunion. While we nodded vigorously to the idea, we ditched it the next instant thinking that not only would the pound reduce our savings considerably but also that it’d be impossible to get a bunch of people together.
We proved ourselves wrong! On the latter, of course.
Tubing our way around
With Couple 1 (C1) based in London to help us ‘navigate’ through the country, we had C2 flying in from India, C3 from a corner of Africa and of course, C4 from Dubai. Along with 2 babies as recent additions! The interesting bit was that all 4 couples had made it together from good ol’ b-school days. The unanimous choice was to be in Scotland for most part, all duly influenced by J.K.Rowling, Game of thrones or Scotch.
After landing into Heathrow on an early morning, the 2 of us spent most of Day 1 of London in Brixton – a quiet yet colourful district about 30 minutes from Central London. (This distance also helped us experience the London ‘Tube’ – well connected and an amusing space to watch people of all races and sorts come together). So Brixton was where we checked into a place found through Airbnb – our first experience through the website that turned out to be awesome! It was a quaint English house tucked inside a quiet street off the main road and owned by a Anglo-Russian couple. We stayed in
Our animated guide!
what should have been the attic had it not been converted into a cozy little room awash with sunlight and just right for us and as a bonus, came down to a lovely breakfast spread on both mornings!
Our journey through English beverages commenced on Night 1 after loitering around the famed Leicester Square and pit-stopping somewhere near the Royal Opera House. This was at a crowded li’l pub spilling with locals waiting to beer-start their Friday night. Attempts to reunite with C3 proved futile so after downing some ales followed by a delicious Mexican dinner we retired for the night.
Big Ben in all its glory
Day 2 commenced with a free tour walk courtesy Sandeman with a spunky dutch guide who took us through touristy parts of London giving snapshots of its history. We passed by Buckingham Palace (surprisingly unglamorous, in my opinion) and as luck would have it, were party to Changing the Guards. We briefly paused to see the backside (yeah, how exciting) of 10 Downing Street and trudged along saying hello to Big Ben, posing at the cathedral where Wills-Kat were married and terminating in front of the grand Westmister Abbey where our guide ended the walk on a dramatic note. We had the much sought-after sunny weather backing us and made most of the rest of the day in and around Trafalgar square and later in the evening at a bistro that gave a nice view of the Tower bridge.
The sentries march past
The next morning the group chugged across to Scotland and after driving around the scenic country for the next few days, returned on the eve of our journey back home with just enough time to hop across to another part of the town and try a couple of exotic liquids as wisely suggested by C1, our locals.
My 2 cents:
I have nothing wise to say here. This was a glimpse of London in as little time with a lot more waiting to be explored in future. However considering the recent bond and visa restrictions imposed on Indians, I’ll need to live on the hope that I will revisit London on a work assignment. Dear employer, are you listening? 😉