Day 1: To London To See the Queen

Sunday, 16 Oct ’16

Or not. But still, to London.

This city mesmerizes me.  I made my first visit to London last year in September. I’m here again just over a year later. Does the air still make me feel like I’ve just learnt to breathe for the first time? Yes, it does. Do I still get fascinated by the fashion sense of the populace? Yes, I do. Do I wish this is a place I could someday belong to? Absolutely.

S.B. – You and I are made for this place. To live, to work, to play here. This dream, someday. Together, with you. 

After a nine-hour flight from Mumbai, I get dropped off at my hotel in Hammersmith. Not a part I’ve been to before, and my first impression is, it is quiet. But then, it’s a Sunday, a rainy day and it’s exactly the kind of day that met me the last time I was here. I check-in, freshen up and the question looms – what should I do with my time?

There are so many things I can choose to do – like a tourist, go and explore the city, maybe eat somewhere nice, maybe just roam the streets. Everything seems like something I must do. It’s London after all.

So I choose to go to the British Museum. I’m a bit of a history buff. (Aside: Make a list of all the things I’m enthusiastic about.) So I decide to indulge myself in a visual treat of sorts. I remember visiting museums for as long as I’ve been going on holidays, my dad being an ardent history lover. I remember hating every one of them. What I don’t recall is, when exactly did I begin enjoying touring them. Must have happened in the past few years. Anyhow, can’t recall the transition point.

The British Museum is a recommended site for anyone interested in human culture; it is located in Great Russell Street and the entry to the museum is free. Sunday meant that the place was packed with tourists; cameras flashing, people posing, standing in front of the glass cases trying to look over people’s heads. I don’t like crowded places. It’s unnerving, claustrophobic and the cacophony of chatter gives me a headache. But sometimes you trade-off your discomforts for delights. And this was one of those days.

The collections at the museum is vast, which meant that I couldn’t get through it all. The collections I did scan through include – the Greek, the Roman, the Assyrian and the Egyptian.

Sphinx from the Egyptian Collection, British Museum
Sphinx from the Egyptian Collection, British Museum

A three-hour browse was still not enough for me to explore all. I left the place, a little quenched, a little thirsty. Maybe next time, I’ll get back to the other collections that I missed.

My next destination was the London Eye. The ride I’ve already experienced before, but it was the River front by the Thames that I wanted to get back to.

London Eye, London
London Eye, London

S.B. – You remember Wagamama, right there by the Eye, where we had the amazing ramen soup? It was chilly, my toes were freezing, and I was not at all dressed for the London weather. You ordered the soup and I was in “I’m freezing to death mode” so I didn’t care to browse the menu, just ordered what you did. And it was just heavenly! Well, I had the exact same thing today! In exactly the same weather condition. Except of course, this time I was dressed for it. That dinner was a refresher – of the times that were, of the times that happen again, unexpectedly.

Hailed a taxi, got back to the hotel. Showered, put my phone and Mac on charging. And was out like a baby. A new day tomorrow. Still in London, but new things to explore, new sights to see, new shots to capture. Something new to talk about.

Until tomorrow.

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