Vacation in UK
Travel. That six lettered word that brings a twinkle in the eyes of many people we know. While, all this talk about travel sounds like mumbo-jumbo to a few mere mortals, to some of us, it is the light that ignites our soul, the passion that sets us free 🙂 The excitement of the unknown and then sharing the experiences with others comes naturally to some of us. During the vacation in UK, Nazneen, and Priya, two avid travelers happened to have a rendezvous at one of Bombay’s finest rooftop bars. Some excerpts of the conversation.
Priya: Hey Naz, how have you been?
Nazneen: I am good. How was your holiday? The photos looked just brilliant. London is awesome isn’t it as always.
Pri: Thanks Naz, yes it is. It remains my favorite city. It was so good to visit back. It is like my second home, having studied and worked there for a while. It’s like I spent the good ol’ twenties of my life there. The city hasn’t changed one bit since I moved back to India in the past three years.
Naz: I have been to UK and Ireland some time back. I am considering stopping by on my way to India again, maybe towards the end of this year. What do you recommend I see this time? I don’t want to repeat the typical touristy places. I had taken the London pass last time.
Pri: Oh yes, I remember you’d mentioned about your visit. Yes, you should stop over, maybe take it easy this time and just walk on those wonderful streets of London. Sigh.
Naz: Precisely. I’ve done all the ‘must-sees’. My favorites were the Queen’s Theatre, St Paul’s Cathedral and of course the House of the parliament or Westminster as they call it. I had to skip Buckingham Palace as it was closed for some time. Some luck!
Pri: Oh, then start off with Buckingham Palace this time. Get off Charing Cross station and go to Trafalgar Square, Nelson monument, the lions, and take a wonderful stroll with a hot chocolate maybe. The National portrait gallery which is right on Trafalgar Square has some of the finest art from across the world if art interests you that is. And this museum is absolutely free. You can then walk the road adjacent to it past the huge arches and reach Buckingham Palace. I wish to take my daughter there someday and show her the wonderful city where Mumma spent all of her twenties. (Smiles).
Naz: Sounds brilliant. Thanks so much. Also, I want to try some good restaurants this time around. What is the latest and greatest? I liked and Zuma Buddha bar last time.
Pri: Oh yes Zuma Buddha is a hit in London. My personal favorite is the Covent Garden area. It is a beautiful Victorial Market converted into this hub for restaurants, shops, and pubs. Go to my favorite- Dirrty Martini for eclectic mix and flavors of martinis to choose from. There’s also Busaba Eat Thai – A lovely Thai restaurant that has long wooden benches to sit. There is a pub – Punch, and Judy which has retro music and is just a wonderful place to chill. There is also our group favorite – The Potter’s club here, which has Irish music and performances on a few weekends. I’d recommend the pub food and drinks or as we call it- Pub Grub! At London Waterloo, there are plenty of restaurants by the River Thames. Ping Pong and a few Japanese places if you like some South East Asian cuisine around here. You can also visit Notting Hill area for some absolutely mind-blowing homemade cupcakes. A lot of bakeries and patisseries in this beautiful locale. London Bridge and Tower Bridge area also have some beautiful pubs by the riverside. The river side stretch between London Bridge and Tower bridge is called the Queen’s walk. There is also a terrace or a high rise restaurant called the Mint restaurant near London Bridge. If you’d like to have a pleasant meal with a fantastic view of the London skyline, then this is the place worth checking out.
Naz: Wow. Thanks so much, Pri. I feel like I have a lot to do and explore now. You could probably join me again in London. Would be great for all of us to have a mini college reunion there.
Pri: How I wish! I will definitely try. London is home. (smiles) . Also, Naz, are you planning to go anywhere outside of London? Like do you need recommendations for a day trip?
Naz: Yes, that would be handy. What do you reckon?
Pri: Some offbeat places is the Anglican Church at Canterbury in Kent. The seat of the Anglican faith that everyone in England follows. You know how much of a history fan I am, the older a Catherdral, building, institution, the more it fascinates me. I usually read up a lot and go. Another good place to see is the white cliffs of Dover. Both Canterbury and Dover have trains from London Charing Cross and London Bridge. Try going to one of these. Not too many tourists around and not too many people know about these places. I presume you have seen the Queen’s weekend home of Windsor Castle. That is also a good day trip out from London.
Naz: Yes I have been to Windsor castle on my way to Bath and Stonehenge. I guess people visit these three together?
Pri: Yes, these three come as a package deal so many tourists opt for it.
Naz: Ah. Okay. Alright. Gives me enough to explore I guess. Thanks much Pri. I look forward to Queen’s city once again.
Pri: Or as they say – OLD BLIGHTY! (laughs).
Victoria Theatre. Location: – London Picadilly Circus. Photo courtesy:- Nazneen Malik
Regent’s Park, Location: London City, Photo Courtesy: Nazneen Malik
St. Paul’s Cathedral, Location: London St.Paul’s. Photo Courtesy: Nazneen Malik
Westminister houses of Parliament, Location: London West Minister, Photo Courtesy: Priya Prabhu
View from London Eye, Location: London WaterLoo, Photo Courtesy: Priya Prabhu
Tower Bridge at Sundown, London Tower Bridge. Photo Courtesy: Priya Prabhu
221 Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes Museum, Location: London BakerLoo, Photo Courtesy: Priya Prabhu
Christmas Street Lights go on. Location: London Bond Street, Photo Courtesy: Priya Prabhu
Featured Image Courtesy: Pixabay.com
Authors: Nazneen Malik, Priya Prabhu
Nazneen Malik is a Software Engineer based in the Greater Seattle area since 2010. She is originally from Mumbai. She did her B.E. in Computer Engineering and then worked as a Software Developer in Mumbai for 2 years. After that she moved to Utah to do her Masters in Computer Science in 2008. She is passionate about her career and serving the community. For fun she likes to read, hike, salsa dance, and travel!
Priya Prabhu lives in what she still likes to call the city of dreams- Bombay. Former Londoner, travel blogger, glass painter, voracious reader, sassy sister, doting daughter and an IT professional best describe as to what she has made herself to be today. In her own humble words – Traveling to 23 countries across the world so far hasn’t changed her values, but certainly changed her perceptions about things. She can be reached at [email protected]