Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day T-1: London

Today’s Walk: London

Planned distance: Unplanned, Actual distance: 21.44 km; Time taken 4 hours 10 minutes

Whether you fly a A380 or just a normal plane, a 13 hour flight is tiring. Two movies, few hours of sleep, a supper, a snack and a breakfast later I am still dazed.

In the morning 7:30 itself I managed to get an early check-in (at no cost!) at my favorite Rhodes hotel in Paddington. I have stayed here 4 times in the past, and is very impressed with this hotel. It is relatively inexpensive, has all facilities including Free WiFi and I even got free calls. After freshening up I did the best thing to avoid a jet lag – go for a long walk.

London is my favourite city for any holiday. After been here more than half a dozen times and after spending considerable amount of (holiday) time, I still find something new (which itself may be very old!) every time I come here. And, I have to say this, is the best city for pedestrians. There is so much to see by just walking.

There are very few cities in the world where the old and new mix so well. As a prominent financial nerve center of the world, cutting edge innovations happen (including some of the now disastrous financial products) in some of the buildings that haven’t changed even a bit over centuries.

Yes, the city has its problems of over crowding, crawling traffic (complemented by a wonderful underground train network), violence, pick pocketing and what not. But don’t most cities in the world have all of those?

As always today I went for a long and directionless walk with only one objective – come back to where I started after few hours.

The weather was terrible – it was dull, dark and damp – with frequent rains. So by British standards just a normal day. See the attached photo. No, it is not a black and white photo – that is how London looked today.

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The weather motivated me to do some quick shopping for a better weatherproof clothing other than what I was carrying. I managed to get a Goretex jacket (which guarantees to keep me dry) , almost one third the price in Singapore. I am surprised!

In the evening I am going for a guided walk - what do you expect out of me anyway?

London has a variety of informative and educational walks like British Museum Walks and Tower of London walks where a knowledgeable guide takes you for a couple of hours of walk at interesting locations and tell the stories behind it. But who cares about such walks when there are Jack the Ripper Walk, Harry Porter Walk, Da Vinci Code Walk, Sherlock Holmes walk, Ghost Walk and Pub Walk which is much more fun!

Net connection is going to be choppy in the coming days. So you may not hear from me everyday.

Here is a collection of random photos from today trip.

P8040046 (1) P8040056 (1) P8040061 (1) P8040073 (1) P8040091 (1) P8040093 (1) P8040120 (1) P8040129 (1) P8040137 (1) P8040147 (1) P8040153 (1)  P8040209 (1) P8040210 (1) P8040219 (1) P8040226 (1) P8040238 (1)


Cate said...

I felt like I was walking right along with you. Good story and photo combination.

Anonymous said...

i like this "As a prominent financial nerve center of the world, cutting edge innovations happen (including some of the now disastrous financial products)..."

Anonymous said...

Great photo's reminded me what it was like to live in London for all those years Maxine

Suchetha said...

congrats manoj.. all the best for ur walk..

Rob said...

Ha, the good old British "Summer"! I hope it clears up for you soon- at least with 2 weeks there you'll be guaranteed one good day of weather.... possibly! Tread carefully, my friend!

Scott said...

Ah, all too familiar sights of London under overcast sky. All the best with the weather once you start your walking...