Britain: Where childhood memories come to life...

Thursday 25 February 2021
Windor Castle in England

Image: Windsor Castle, England

My long-awaited sojourn to the UK commenced in July 2013 consisting of stays in and visits to London, Stonehenge, the Windsor Castle, Cambridge; Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and back to London over a period of 18 days.

Jane Austen's House, England

Image: Jane Austen's House, Hampshire, England

Many of us in India grow up reading Dickens, Hardy, Austen, Bronte in our younger years. To a hopeless romantic, this heady cocktail leads to the land of our childhood memories. Memories that bring to life 221B Baker Street where Holmes and Watson plied their trade, the seedy back alleys where the Ripper ran amok, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds where the Secret 7 or the Famous 5 could be spotted or the hidden pathway which might lead to Narnia or even the 13 1/3rd platform to Hogwarts’. 300 words is very less to capture what I’ve always felt or wanted to do, but I’ll keep it as short as possible.

London

the london eye in london

Image: The London Eye

Had bought my tickets for Brit Rail train pass, Madame Tussaud’s Wax museum, the London Eye, guided tour to the Crown Jewels (where the Koh-I-Noor is kept!) amongst a few other treasures as well as a cruise on the River Thames. Greenwich Village with a visit to the Cutty Sark rounded off my first visit. I did visit Stonehenge, Windsor and Cambridge, but it was done through a different company.

Manchester

 Manchester United's football stadium Old Trafford

Image:  Manchester United's football stadium - Old Trafford

Imperial war Museum brought to life the horrors of war and the destruction it causes. Teary-eyed, I bid farewell with one longing glance back at the sacrifices made by the valiant soldiers, particularly the oft-omitted ones of Indian soldiers who fought for Ol’ Blighty. Next up, The Football World Cup museum and Old Trafford. Got to sample some of the local brew. Sheer Mimosa of the Mancunian gods.

Liverpool was all Museum of Shipbuilding and Slavery and the Beatles. Got to see huge liners coasting down the river.

Edinburgh city in scotland - city view

Image credit: Kartik Chandrasekhar; Location: Edinburgh

Edinburgh-centre of the Fringe festival. Watched a Scot comedian tear the audience into splits. Guided tour of the underground city. Amazingly, was chosen by the guide to enter all scary places ahead of the others!!My first ever pub crawl…had me crawling back to my hostel around 1am.

loch_lomond, highlands, scotland

Image credit: Kartik Chandrasekhar; Location: Loch Lomond, Highlands, Scotland

Glasgow- Kensington Gardens, Museum of Art (loved the Renaissance era works) and the visit to Loch Lomond. Great vegan food; came to know they were next in line to host the Commonwealth Games.

Inverness-possibly the trough of the whole tour. Not not seeing Nessie, but not much besides the Loch in Drumnadrochit. Learnt what 1/3rd of 3 pints was and the difference between crisps and fries!

London again after a marathon 5-6 hours by train during which we got re-routed due to a track fault. Museum of National History rounded off a most memorable itinerary.

Can’t wait to get back. Lake District, next time along with some Gaelic fervour, crumpets, scones and a cuppa!!

Blog contributed by Mr. Kartik Chandrasekhar, Saudia Airlines

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