I have a ton of things to write about. I am not sure what happened to my interest in blogging. I seem to have no interest whatsoever to write anything here. Maybe it’s that I am occupied with too many things in my head.
But I am here now, my third attempt, trying to finish this post. I thought about the top three things I could write about: Kiddos turning 6, my London trip or my progress with swimming lessons. Three are equally important to me right now, but I will choose my London trip. Because it was awesome and also included just me. 😊
And it was awesome for many reasons. When I was asked to go to London for a conference, I have to say, not only was I least interested, I was also terrified to travel outside the country. The state that we are in right now, with all the immigration issues going on, I wasn’t sure if I would come back. Even though there was absolutely no reason to think so. It’s the just the way things right now here are, I feel. Plus, I hate change. Travelling to a new country where I don’t know anything about anything, was a big change for me. But scratch all that for now. My visa process went super smooth, without any hiccups. And travelling to the place I knew nothing about, without any family, was awesome too. 😊
It surely helped that I was travelling with a colleague, but after a while that got annoying for silly reasons. Initially, we made plans on what to see where to see. Unknowingly, we made some good choices about where we stayed. Because the first hotel we stayed in, was so close to many of London’s top attractions, I had a super awesome sightseeing trip. Another best thing about London was the tube. Once I got the hang of it, I actually preferred to travel by myself.
Day 1, we landed Sunday afternoon, without thinking about jet lag or such 😊, we started walking to our destinations. London is so amazing, every building I got to see had this amazing architecture around it. That day, I visited the Parliament building, Big Ben, London eye, roamed some streets of London, Buckingham Palace, St James Park and Trafalgar Square. All in about 4 hours. My spirits that day were so good. I didn’t think sightseeing could be so good.
Day 2, I rode the tube for the first time. Did I mention it was awesome? I wasn’t the daily tube commuter, but the ease of getting from one place to another so quickly was wonderful. I wish every place we stay has this facility. Although I think, with kids, walking all the way to the underground stations wouldn’t be fun. Once I got the hang of the maps, figuring out which train to take, where to get down was so much fun. I like following old school maps. It was surprising to know London Bridge is actually a different bridge. One we commonly think of as London Bridge is Tower of London.
The day was getting hotter and after running few errands, next stop was Natural History Museum. And oh my, was it good? First of all, I love museums. Secondly I cherish alone museum time. And then there were all kinds of things I loved. It wasn’t just the artifacts in the museum that were good, it was the architecture of this place, that was amazing too. One could easily spend half a day here.
Day 3 and 4 were the conference I attended. Just like any, some were good sessions, some not so much. But we didn’t waste the evenings. Evening # 3, I visited Kings Cross Station to visit the famous Harry Potter Platform 9 3/4; Stood in line for 45 minutes and got what I wanted. It was soo good to be there, holding the wand, running the trolley into the wall 😀
Evening #4, was Piccadilly Square, walking along the beautiful streets, some shopping.
Next two days was the time I roamed by myself and loved every minute of it. Day 5, I got to British museum. I swear by this day, I felt like a zombie. Despite being jet lagged, not having much to eat and not enough sleep, I still pushed myself to walk all over the museum. My legs were killing and I kept going. All for the love of museums. I cherish some wonderful things I saw here. Especially anything Egyptian. Seeing Amaravathi statues was a nice surprise. I haven’t seen them in India yet. I was wondering if I could tour the real Amaravathi by myself like this, realized no way I could. So was so glad to peacefully enjoy them here.
Rest of the day #5 was walking as well. This time visiting a BEAUTIFUL St Paul’s cathedral. I am a big fan of churches or temples for their architecture and this one blew my mind. We were not supposed to take pics, but I tell you a picture wouldn’t do justice. You have to be there. The inner dome is so big. They have one way not-for- claustrophobics stair case to reach the top. It was hard to get to different levels. (especially with the state of my legs that week 🙂 ) But it was so worth it. Getting so high and close to the top of dome, you could see the architecture even more closely. It was amazing. Here is a pic from the internet. 🙂 See the tiny circle on the top with three tiny windows, that’s where you can get to.
The stairs also open up to the outdoor view of London. Again, so worth it. 🙂
Day 6, I had a packed day as well. First visit was to Westminster Abbey. Another beautiful place of worship. But I have to say, after seeing St Paul’s Cathedral, this one seemed like a very simple church. 🙂 It was still very beautiful.
Having changed my afternoon plan to skip Windsor Castle, I made the trip to The National Gallery. I don’t know what I missed with the castle trip, but the gallery trip was so worth it. I will say this again, with my legs killing me, I covered the whole gallery. It was that good.
I happened to find a good Indian vegetarian place after my gallery trip and I think this is the first time I ate well in the week.
Next day was my flight back. It was mainly packing and saying good-bye to the place and the trip I loved a lot. I did do some quick and cheap gifts shopping. And you know the two tops I bought for around $10 are my favorite things now. 🙂
May be it was me travelling alone, I loved the airport trip back home. I ended walking all around LHR helping a lady who was scared, travelling alone and didn’t speak the language. When she found out I spoke her language, her face just lit up and she wouldn’t go two steps away from me 🙂 . Poor thing. I got her safely to where she needed to go and went my way.
My colleague and I, for the first two days of our trip, randomly would end up talking about kids and what would it be if they were here etc. Then we made a rule to enjoy our me time without the kids and not talk about the kids. 😊 We were only partially successful. 🙂 But I have to say, this trip made me realize it is okay to enjoy without having kids around. A place like London, with all its beautiful architecture, kids wouldn’t have enjoyed it that much. But I surely did it. I am surely thinking about making a trip without kids a yearly thing. I just have to find people to go with me. 😊
Another wonderful thing about the trip was, it made me realize, despite it being a short trip, that I can survive on my own. Another surprising realization that came to me was that I actually like doing things by myself. If you knew me from couple of years ago, you would completely surprised by what I just said. I was that dependent on people. 😊 I still think about the last stretch of my trip. I didn’t have good food to eat, haven’t slept more than 4-5 hours a night, my legs were killing me and I still LOVED the alone museum time I got. It was wonderful. This trip is easily the best one week of my life in recent times. It turned out, I am a wonderful company to myself. LOL. 🙂
The trip did boost confidence in me. I find myself ready to do little risky things that I wasn’t okay to do before. At least I don’t think so much now. I am looking forward to my next trip. May be Paris? Its time to start learning a new language then.
So that was my amazing trip and the wonderful time I had. Surely a memory I will cherish for a long time. 🙂