24th March 2007, It is one of the sensational days in London so far. I have loads to speak out but i am not sure if i will be able to jot down my thoughts particularly well here. It was my first weekend in London, So wanted to explore this city as much as i can; though just had a map book with me.
Day started when I woke up at around 9 and logged in to see if somebody was online on the messenger to exchange thoughts and few words; but couldn't find anyone. So called up my parents and talked to them. It was really chilly today at around 3 degrees, So i was getting lazy to get out of the bed and take a bath to start my journey for the day. Finally, i did get out of the bed and had a bath followed by preparation of ready to eat RAJMA CHAWAL.
By the time i was to leave my apartment, it was almost 1 in the noon but the day made it look early morning as couldn't get a glance of the sun at all. So where am i heading towards ? I just knew that i am going to see London eye today and doubted my abilities to roam around the places all alone. Nevertheless, i was wrong enough to think that ways and things started to fall in my court shortly.
I went to the South Quay DLR station and went to Bank from where i took an underground train to WaterLoo. While i was out on the waterloo station, i can see London Eye upfront. Now thatz amazing; firstly because i reached there in 40 minutes without any difficulty; secondly the way it is build on top of river Thames
The British Airways London Eye is the world's tallest observation wheel at 135m high. Located on the banks of the River Thames it offers unrivalled views over London. So to view and take a ride on this historical observation wheel, I queued in for tickets and i got them for 14.5 Pounds. Then there was a long queue for getting into the London Eye. Each block of the wheel is a capsule which accommodates around 25 people and goes for a 30 minute ride. While i was in the queue i met an old lady from Yorkshire who was there with her grandchild. I was exchanging few words about their plans for the day and had some light moments together before i finally step into the transparent capsule. I clicked lots of photographs during the ride and it was awsome view from top of river Thames. The major sights were Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, River Thames with cruises down ways and many other monuments like Westminster Abbey and some other Cathedrals. Trust me the view was really mind boggling. I thought i would fear the height and river down ways but it wasn't there because i was so engrossed in the view that i could not realize that i spent 30 minutes in the ride. Nevertheless, spend 14.5 pounds was worth it.
Once i was out of the capsule, i walked across Westminster Bridge (on top of Thames) to the other side. While i was in queue for London Eye, i remembered the grannie saying that if you want to see London, go for a double decker roof top open bus. It is the best way to roam and sight seeing. I recollected the thoughts and got a ticket of 18 pounds for sight seeing and got a river cruise free from Westminster bridge to Tower bridge. There were 2 travel companies who were competing for such sight seeing tours namely the Big Bus Company & The Global Tours Company. I saw the counter which was selling vouchers for the Global Tours and got one for myself. While i was waiting for the bus, I realised i should have gone for the Big Bus company as there were buses coming in almost every 5 minutes for them . I waited for 20 minutes before boarding the bus finally. While you travel in such a bus you are given headphones for the live commentary of the sights seen by you. You can listen the commentary in different languages.
The bus journey started from West Minster Bridge whereby Houses of Parliament and Big Ben were already visible. The bus went across the Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. The palace is a royal monument of London and house of Queen Vitoria. We are allowed to get down at any place which we want to see and can get another bus after sometime. I didn't go inside any of the places as i didn't have much time. I came to know that these buses run at max till 5:30 and it was already 4:30, So i thought i should be seated there and have an eventful ride across the side. So from Buckingham Palace, we went through Victoria Street and Hyde Park crossing Speaker's corner , Marble Arch to the Oxford Street. Oxford street is said to be the busy most streets in London for shopping. All the branded items are available on the street and its a healthy and crowded market to do bird watching :)
Nevertheless, the bus kept moving from the Oxford street to Portman Square and then had the next stop which was Baker's Street. Madame Tussuad's famous wax museum was right infront of my eyes and you won't believe it i was surprised to see something there. What's that ?? A glimpse of India, our own King Khan's huge poster on top of Madame Tussuad's museum. The poster read " King Khan in coming on April 3rd 2007"; which means Shahrukh Khan's Wax Statue is going to be part of Madame Tussuad's museum. Now that amazing achievement for the lad and India.
Nevertheless the bus moved from the baker street where a large tower of Bristish Telecom was visible. We passed by Langham Palace which is a BBC broadcasting station. Next we moved on to the Regent Street which has lods of markets and malls around. Hay market was one of them which is supposed to be the largest markets of Hay in the past. From there we moved on to Trafalgar Square which has some history attached to it but if i write it all this blog will be a boredom. Let me tell you Trafalgar Square is the place from where all the distances are measured in London. The bus was supposed to go to other places like St. Paul's Cathedral but since i was already late i got down at the Westminster Bridge and realized that it should be the end of the day.
I am still left with the free cruise and more sight seeing which i could not do as i was late but luckily this ticket is valid for 24 hours which means i can use it tomorrow till 3:30. I have mission to complete on Sunday.
Enough for the day, I think it's already late here. By the time i am over with these blogs, all back home are about to wake up, unless they are planning to utilize the weekend with a long sleep. I will keep positing as and when i have new experiences. I have plenty to write but then i don't want to elaborate things more so as to make them a boring affair.
You can check the photographs here: http://picasaweb.google.com/saurabh.agrawals
Till the time I write more,bbye !!