Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 5th July 2015, 08:29   #1
BHPian
 
Saanil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 384
Thanked: 190 Times
Default London: An Amazing Experience

Some day in March 2015, the following conversation takes place at my office:

Boss: “Can you please come into my cabin”

Me: “Sure”

Boss: “The Management has decided to send you to London for 1 month to work on a project”

Me: “Ok”

Boss: “Do you have any personal work over the next 2-3 months or any reason for which you will not be able to travel?”

Me: “Not at all. I will be happy to travel to UK”

Boss: “Ok. Please start the process for UK Visa then. You need to be in UK from May first week for a period of 4 weeks. Please start gathering your documents etc. and start the Visa process immediately”

Me: “Sure”

I came out of the cabin and went to my workstation. I sat there for 5 minutes just staring at my screen and thinking “So I am going to UK? Ohh Yeeahh!” I was happy, literally dancing in my mind! Not because I was going outside India but because I was finally getting the opportunity to do something I have been dreaming of since the past 5-6 years (more on that later).

One advantage of going outside India for office work is less Visa hassles. I just had to gather all the required documents and I was being assisted by our travel partner in filing the documents. I filed for a Tier 2 ICT Visa which is very costly. I also paid an extra amount for fast tracking my process. I filled some documents, took copies of required proofs and submitted them to a third party agency (based in BKC, Mumbai), which has been authorized by the UK government for taking Visa applications. Submitted documents, gave my photographs, scanned my finger prints and done! The entire process took some 1.5 hours. There was absolutely no line for UK Visa. On the other hand, the queue for US Visa was way too long. The guard there told me that on an average about 1k-2k people come for UK Visa daily whereas some 8K people come daily for a US Visa.

I booked a direct flight to London on Jet Airways, total airtime of about 9.5 hours and fare of 78k (return trip included). Other options were British Airways (rejected as it was very expensive at 95k) and Emirates (rejected because of longer airtime and less baggage allowance). Jet’s baggage allowance was 2 bags of 23kg each along with a cabin bag of 7kg (so total allowance of 53kg). The flight experience was pretty standard. I have done just 1 international trip before this (to Thailand as described here) and the Jet experience was similar – Economy seats are pathetic for tall people like me.

I landed on Sunday morning at 7am and it was very cold! I did not carry any jackets with me (I should have planned for this) but I thought summers in London would not be that cold (I was so wrong). Being from Mumbai, I am not used to temperatures of 12-15 degrees. Apart from the low temperature, the weather was very windy which made matters worse for a person without a jacket! I was to be in London for 4 weeks which essentially meant 3 weekends (i.e. 6 days) to explore London. I will try to put up pictures in the order I visited them. Some pictures and more to follow:

TOWER GATEWAY

Name:  20150510_180556 800x568.jpg
Views: 3781
Size:  282.1 KB


GRAB A COFFEE AND JUST ENJOY THE ATMOSPHERE
Name:  20150510_180505 600x800.jpg
Views: 3445
Size:  277.7 KB

ARCHITECTURE 101
Name:  20150510_174025 800x584.jpg
Views: 3404
Size:  256.2 KB

Name:  20150510_174016 800x600.jpg
Views: 3402
Size:  238.1 KB

Name:  20150510_173052 800x598.jpg
Views: 3372
Size:  270.3 KB

Name:  20150510_181756 800x600.jpg
Views: 3313
Size:  277.3 KB

Name:  20150510_181752 800x600.jpg
Views: 3313
Size:  269.5 KB

Name:  20150510_181746 800x600.jpg
Views: 3309
Size:  290.5 KB

Name:  20150510_181813 800x600.jpg
Views: 3343
Size:  341.1 KB

Name:  20150510_181945 800x600.jpg
Views: 3227
Size:  325.2 KB
Saanil is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2015, 10:36   #2
BHPian
 
MunnabhaiMBBS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Pune
Posts: 294
Thanked: 585 Times
Default re: London: An Amazing Experience

Saanil,

Nostalgic! Lately, I prefer London to Paris.

Do visit the following places as well:
- Lords cricket ground
- Natural History Museum
- London Eye
- Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
- Sherlock Holmes Museum
- Trafalgar Square
- Borough Market
- India House (If you like history)

Few Tips:
- Always look out for single / combo coupons online before you visit any attraction.
- For killer-rate sport merchandise shopping, do visit Sportsdirect.com outlets.
- Try and speak with Brits as much as you can, learn their culture.

Bon Voyage
MunnabhaiMBBS is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2015, 13:56   #3
BHPian
 
Saanil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 384
Thanked: 190 Times
Default re: London: An Amazing Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by MunnabhaiMBBS View Post
Saanil,

Nostalgic! Lately, I prefer London to Paris.

Do visit the following places as well:
Thanks for these! I am back to Mumbai and did not visit all of these places but I agree with you - one should try these places out. Few more pictures of the touristy places I visited:

Trafalgar Sqaure - It is a huge ground with a fountain in the middle - an ideal place to sip coffee with a loved one! One should visit this place in the morning for better quality pictures though!

Name:  20150515_211241 800x600.jpg
Views: 2355
Size:  276.6 KB

Name:  20150515_211356 800x600.jpg
Views: 2345
Size:  251.2 KB

Name:  20150515_213837 800x600.jpg
Views: 2359
Size:  264.3 KB


Some of the streets and buildings give a European feel! Although I have never been to US, given an option to choose between US and Europe, I would definately go for Europe!

Name:  20150516_113114 800x600.jpg
Views: 2313
Size:  293.5 KB

Name:  20150517_132547 800x600.jpg
Views: 2316
Size:  288.1 KB

Name:  20150517_131812 800x600.jpg
Views: 2299
Size:  232.8 KB

This is the closest I got to the London Eye! Would have loved to sit in there but could not! I heard its GBP20 for a 30 minute ride!

Name:  20150517_131219 800x600.jpg
Views: 2315
Size:  267.8 KB

Name:  20150516_193343 800x600.jpg
Views: 2295
Size:  286.4 KB
Saanil is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2015, 14:21   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
14000rpm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Rochester, MI
Posts: 1,865
Thanked: 584 Times
Default re: London: An Amazing Experience

Glad you are liking the place. I was there last week on a business trip. Heat wave was THE topic on all radio channels. I hope it is still warm.

do drive around. avoid M-roads. try to take B and A roads. they are quite scenic.
Also, the country side in and around Wales is stunning. google for best B-Roads in UK.
14000rpm is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2015, 14:45   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
vnabhi's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: DC -> DC
Posts: 5,264
Thanked: 1,233 Times
Default re: London: An Amazing Experience

Yes, London Eye costs around 20 GBP for a 20-minute ride. I went with my wife at sunset and the sights were thrilling indeed. There is a small HD movie played on an Imax screen when you wait for your turn to hop onto the giant wheel. Well worth the money paid. I think I paid 16 GBP per head, and someone told me it was a bit cheaper if bought online.
vnabhi is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th July 2015, 08:08   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: London
Posts: 425
Thanked: 484 Times
Default re: London: An Amazing Experience

You have brought back my memories. I have spent a lot of times in London and I believe it is the best city in the world off course after Bangalore

I hope you haven't missed the ride on the London Eye. It is one of the best rides and weather permitting, you can London from birdeye

I must have gone a 100 times on the London Eye for free in between 2004 and 2007 as I had a Monthly Oyster Card for zone 1 & 2. There was a scheme that if you buy 2 tickets, third ticket was free for London Eye, Madam Tassaud, London Aquarium and few places.

I believe you are back from London and let me know if you visited these places

Must visit for Desis -

East Ham
Ilford
Wembley
Southhall

Other Attractions, not very popular with regular tourists

London Barriers
O2 Arena
Leadenhall Market
Leicester Square
Marble Arch
Russel Square
King Street
Shoreditch
Brick Lane Market
Camden... etc

Regards
chandrda is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th July 2015, 08:48   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
extreme_torque's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 3,546
Thanked: 1,317 Times
Default re: London: An Amazing Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by chandrda View Post
Southhall

Other Attractions, not very popular with regular tourists
Not really sure if I will count South Hall as an "attraction". It is an attraction in the same way poverty and general apathy is an "attraction" for a white travelling in India.
extreme_torque is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th July 2015, 09:37   #8
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: London
Posts: 425
Thanked: 484 Times
Default re: London: An Amazing Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
Not really sure if I will count South Hall as an "attraction". It is an attraction in the same way poverty and general apathy is an "attraction" for a white travelling in India.
Dint really quote it as an attraction, but as a must visit place for Desi visiting England for the first time.

Completely agree with you though, would add East Ham now to that list as well. Ilford will soon join.

Regards
chandrda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th July 2015, 18:12   #9
BHPian
 
Saanil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 384
Thanked: 190 Times
Default Re: London: An Amazing Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by chandrda View Post
You have brought back my memories. I have spent a lot of times in London and I believe it is the best city in the world off course after Bangalore
Hi,

I have not visited a lot of the locations you have mentioned. I guess there is just too much to cover in London. Of the places you mentioned, I have just done Leicester Square (twice).

Do you really think Bangalore is a better city than London? I have had fights with many people regarding a similar discussion . Anyways I shall state my opinion on this "choice" at the end of my travelogue. I am busy drafting my next post
Saanil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th July 2015, 20:50   #10
BHPian
 
Saanil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 384
Thanked: 190 Times
Default Re: London: An Amazing Experience

One of the best things I loved about London was the Parks – they are lots of it! Some of the well-known ones are the Green Park, Hyde Park and St. James Park. However, in my opinion, the best one is the Greenwich Park (pronounced as ‘Gree nitch’). I was staying at Canary Wharf and I took the DLR (kind of a monorail there) to get down at Cutty Sark station (in East London). This place is famous because of the Greenwich Mean longitude (a reference line for time zones also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). After getting down at the station, the Royal Observatory is a good 20-30 minute walk and a 10 minute uphill walk but and there are various historical sites in between. Attaching some of them here.
Name:  20150516_113450 800x600.jpg
Views: 1684
Size:  262.3 KB

Name:  20150516_113540 800x600.jpg
Views: 1676
Size:  288.7 KB

Name:  20150516_114523 800x600.jpg
Views: 1692
Size:  447.9 KB

Name:  20150516_114558 800x600.jpg
Views: 1673
Size:  402.4 KB

Name:  20150516_114629 800x600.jpg
Views: 1678
Size:  305.6 KB

Name:  20150516_114712 800x600.jpg
Views: 1654
Size:  265.5 KB

Name:  20150516_114733 800x600.jpg
Views: 1651
Size:  294.0 KB

Name:  20150516_114914 800x600.jpg
Views: 1640
Size:  267.8 KB

Name:  20150516_114949 800x600.jpg
Views: 1628
Size:  314.9 KB

Name:  20150516_114955 800x600.jpg
Views: 1633
Size:  263.1 KB
Saanil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th July 2015, 20:55   #11
BHPian
 
Saanil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 384
Thanked: 190 Times
Default Re: London: An Amazing Experience

Continuing the walk towards the main park. We went there early morning (around 10am) and we were lucky to have a nice weather. One benefit of going early is that there were very few people and you kind of enjoy the nature alone. During the day the number of people increased but we never felt that the place got crowded!

Name:  20150516_115000 800x600.jpg
Views: 1628
Size:  300.7 KB

Name:  20150516_115056 800x600.jpg
Views: 1610
Size:  326.3 KB

Name:  20150516_115102 800x600.jpg
Views: 1601
Size:  261.6 KB

Name:  20150516_115119 800x600.jpg
Views: 1605
Size:  257.1 KB

There were some really beautiful paintings and were really huge!

Name:  20150516_115641 800x600.jpg
Views: 1601
Size:  313.5 KB

Name:  20150516_115720 800x600.jpg
Views: 1597
Size:  336.3 KB

Name:  20150516_115756 800x600.jpg
Views: 1589
Size:  315.1 KB

Name:  20150516_115856 800x600.jpg
Views: 1581
Size:  311.6 KB

Name:  20150516_122256 800x600.jpg
Views: 1574
Size:  239.5 KB

Name:  20150516_122607 800x600.jpg
Views: 1584
Size:  301.2 KB
Saanil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th July 2015, 21:00   #12
BHPian
 
Saanil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 384
Thanked: 190 Times
Default Re: London: An Amazing Experience

Some more pictures as we approach the uphill walk towards the Royal Observatory.

Name:  20150516_122611 800x600.jpg
Views: 1593
Size:  269.1 KB

Name:  20150516_122735 800x600.jpg
Views: 1574
Size:  253.1 KB

Name:  20150516_122742 800x600.jpg
Views: 1558
Size:  282.8 KB

Name:  20150516_122812 800x600.jpg
Views: 1575
Size:  276.4 KB

Name:  20150516_124802 800x600.jpg
Views: 1558
Size:  308.2 KB

Name:  20150516_124817 800x600.jpg
Views: 1564
Size:  307.0 KB

Name:  20150516_124842 800x600.jpg
Views: 1559
Size:  271.7 KB

Name:  20150516_124854 800x600.jpg
Views: 1570
Size:  319.2 KB
Saanil is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th July 2015, 21:02   #13
BHPian
 
Saanil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 384
Thanked: 190 Times
Default Re: London: An Amazing Experience

Here are the pictures from the top of the park. I know my pictures do not do justice to the beauty of this place but trust me - this was the most peaceful thing I have experienced in quite some time!

Name:  20150516_124928 800x600.jpg
Views: 1582
Size:  308.0 KB

Name:  20150516_130743 800x600.jpg
Views: 1565
Size:  270.8 KB

Name:  20150516_130749 800x600.jpg
Views: 1565
Size:  342.8 KB

Name:  20150516_131025 800x600.jpg
Views: 1574
Size:  302.9 KB

Name:  20150516_131048 800x600.jpg
Views: 1576
Size:  315.9 KB
Saanil is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th July 2015, 08:14   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: London
Posts: 425
Thanked: 484 Times
Default Re: London: An Amazing Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saanil View Post
Hi,

I have not visited a lot of the locations you have mentioned. I guess there is just too much to cover in London. Of the places you mentioned, I have just done Leicester Square (twice).

Do you really think Bangalore is a better city than London? I have had fights with many people regarding a similar discussion . Anyways I shall state my opinion on this "choice" at the end of my travelogue. I am busy drafting my next post
Yeah, there is too much to cover in London. It took me 6 months to cover entire London and 2 years to cover entire UK.

I don't think Bangalore or any other city in India is better than London. You know what they say 'Home is where the Heart Is' and Heart is always biased.

But of all the Cities I have lived in abroad (min 3 months), I felt London was very close to Bangalore in making me feel at home. If someone is from Mumbai or Chennai they can say the same.

Let the photos keep coming over...

Regards
chandrda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th July 2015, 17:37   #15
BHPian
 
mohammedismail's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 426
Thanked: 1,089 Times
Default Re: London: An Amazing Experience

Boy..How did you miss the Jacket ? even though it is summer it gets very cold sometimes due to wind and when I say cold i mean shivering cold ! Never believe the British weather it might rain this min and next minute you find it very sunny

Hope you enjoyed your stay in London ! Keep the photos coming. I sort of want to hijack your thread by posting my pictures but i'm just too lazy these days..haha

PS: Did you visit Knightsbridge to have a glimpse of few Cars? rather Hyper cars ?
mohammedismail is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
indian autorickshaws exported to london! yes its true... mclaren1885 Commercial Vehicles 39 30th January 2009 00:22
amazing experience of marutisuzuki aftersales service ASHISHPALLOD Indian Car Dealerships 6 10th August 2008 10:00
Indian buys Bernie Ecclestones London Mansion GTO Shifting gears 14 12th April 2006 21:51
London Taxi Replica nikibusa Super-Cars & Imports in India 4 19th February 2005 22:52
London to Sydney Rally Tom Int'l Motorsport 23 1st July 2004 20:06


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 03:40.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks