Friday, July 31, 2009

London Walk

On my previous visits to this city, I have either been staying very close to the workplace or too far off, in the former case, it normally turns out to be a 2-5 min walk and in the latter there is no alternative but to take a tube ride to office. This time around however, I am staying about 3 kms away from office :) This means a perfect distance for a lovely walk to and from office!

When I got in all jet lagged on Sunday evening, I asked the chap at the reception how far it was to the place where my office was located, "its a 20-25 minute walk sir!" he said. I made a quick mental calculation, this guy says 25minutes that means at my walking pace I should be in office in 10-15 minutes, or so I thought.

Turns out, back in Bangalore I may be quicker than most when it comes to walking, but here I am just about average speed. Everybody is rushing along at a very brisk pace, which is extremely refreshing to see. :)

Walking quickly or not, the walk still gives me more than enough time to take in the sights and sounds of good old London.

The route I take on the walk itself is quite special.

(view enroute my walk)

I start from my service apartments (Bermondsey Street in East London), walk through a park that has tennis courts on my way to the Tower Bridge road. Once on Tower Bridge Road, its a walk straight past the very modern looking Mayor's office on the banks of Thames, over Tower Bridge itself, all the way across the Thames.
The river itself is a joy to see despite its brown muddy looking waters, there is always the large group of tourists taking pictures and pointing out to HMS Belfast (the WW || battleship that is moored on the Thames, now a floating museum) to one another.

On crossing the Tower Bridge one comes right at the popular and infamous Tower of London (Where the Kohinoor resides), from there on its a walk towards a more modern tower, namely the Gherkin - London's phallic symbol.

A 5 minute walk from the Tower of London is my workplace. It takes me about 25 minutes to walk the distance, just like the man at the reception told me :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On the tube

London is super cosmopolitan, made more apparentto me by my tube ride yesterday to Oxford Street (a very popular shopping area, much like the Brigade and M.G. Road back in B'lore :) ) and back.

The guy sitting across me was reading a novel in Chinese, I guessed so b'cos it had a picture of Mao on the cover, the guy sitting to my right was reading a book in a language I could not begin to guess; I tried peeping in and reading it, thought it could have been German, but it may have been in Flemish for all I know.
A couple of girls standing by the doorway were definitely Sri-lankan. There was an Italian looking guy on one of the seats, there was an Ethiopian chap as well. All in all I could not find a single Englishman in the crowded coach!

Until a father and son walked in arguing about probability, "If you knew there was a low probability of getting caught, but the severity of punishment if caught is harsh, would you still commit the crime" argued the father... the son continued arguing for or against the topic, but i paid no further atttention. These guys were definitely British.

All in all, my almost voyeuristic trip proved to me just how cosmopolitan this place is!

Of course there is a lesson in there somewhere and that lesson is: I should take something to read on the tube next time, lest I make a habit of peeping into other people's books or eavesdropping on random conversations :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Loads of travel coming up!

Here is a list

Last weekend (18th and 19th July) - Pondicherry

This weekend (25th and 26th July) - London

Next weekend (31st July) - Back to Bangalore

Weekend of 8th Aug - Calcutta!

Weekend of 15th August - Definite trip with friends - place not planned

Weekend of 23rd August - Sawantwadi, native place for Ganpati festival :)

Weekend of 30th August - Goa !

Whew!... How does that sound for travel?