All there is to see in a city: London

London.

Its the the city you cannot describe in one word, I guess you need a whole dictionary. Yes, everyone has different experiences in London, everyone sees things differently in London, but what is common is, everyone loves the city London!

The culture of London is basically more or less like Mumbai but cleaner. You will find people from everywhere in London, that’s what makes it unique and super interesting. Apart from roaming in this most interesting city and taking in the basic culture, there is a lot to see as well. So here in this blog I have compiled for you the places to definitely see, how to go around, where to shop and what to eat!

PLACES TO SEE IN LONDON:

  1. Buckingham Palace:    This may sound a bit cheesy that the first place on my list is the obvious, but its because you have to visit this place no matter what! On my first day in London, I spent a good 2 hours going around the palace. If you are lucky you can attend the guard change ceremony as well, its unique and something to see once in a lifetime.DSCN5436.JPG
  2. City Tour, Hop on Hop Off Bus:   Basically when you take this tour it takes you around all the major attractions in London. You are given a written guide and also for your convenience there are audio tapes which you can listen to when the bus goes around the city, stating all the major attractions and their history.  Why is it convenient? You get to see all the major attractions, like literally all in half a day, you can get off at any stop, you don’t have to worry even if your bus leaves you know there is a bus coming every ten minutes, lastly their last stop need not be you last stop, get off at any place and you can continue your tour on foot.DSCN5458.JPG
  3. London’s Tower Bridge:    It is the most iconic bridge and everybody knows about it. You can walk on the bridge, under it whatever pleases you. We got off from the bus tour at the Tower Bridge at around Lunch time. Under the bridge on the sidewalks of River Thames was a food flee market which is only mostly on the weekends with amazing and the most reasonable food.DSCN5507.JPG
  4. River Thames Cruise:     This a boat ride on the River Thames, a beautiful ride with some water splashing on your face if you are sitting in the front row.
  5. London Eye:   A mighty giant wheel beyond the reach of your eyes! This ride is a must if you want a birds-eye view of the the ravishing London! The ride is thrilling but the lines are more thrilling….. a tip coming your way.. make sure you pre-book the tickets to your ride of London Eye because when you reach there you really don’t want to get stuck in the long queues. Also make sure your tickets are fast-track they are much easy to get and there is no hassle. Don’t look down though if you have height issues, just enjoy the ride!DSCN5517.JPGDSCN5554
  6.  Westminster Abbey:   Where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Kate Middleton) got married. The Church is exceptional and it should definitely be on your list if you are visiting London. Also I would advise to attend the service. Trust me it is worth it!dscn5534.jpg
  7.  Harrods: Its a huge mall, its very beautiful! You can definitely go to visit, but DO NOT SHOP. Its crazy expensive! You can buy if you can afford it!DSCN5560.JPG
  8. National Art Gallery:   Yes, also a must visit destination. The entry is free and you can go around the Gallery admiring the works of some great artists, including Van Gogh’s Sunflower painting, 2 of Michelangelo’s unfinished work, though no one knows why they are not completed and many more such great artists. Buy a map of around 2 pounds, and you will know where to go because it can get a little confusing, if the map is not clear as well ask around, the people working there are very helpful.DSCN5727.JPG
  9. Trafalghar Square:   If you are visiting the National Art Gallery you automatically are on the Trafalghar Square. It is one the most iconic places in London, and you just can not miss it. Trafalghar Square is a must see place and you can easily spend your evening there because its entertaining as well. You can just sit and observe the London culture and look at people go by. Its lovely to sit and contemplate.dscn5711.jpg
  10. Piccadilly Circus- Oxford Circus- Covent Garden-China Town:  If you really want to see the weekend culture pay a visit to these 3 streets. They are very close to each other. You can just literally walk from one street to another and you won’t even need a guide. Piccadilly Street and Oxford Street are one of a kind you can see people dancing on the streets, shows happening on the streets, people singing, playing different instruments and much more. Its the typical city culture on the streets. When you visit the Covent Garden, its not actually a garden its a street, go to Somerset Palace. Unfortunately I couldn’t go there, but apparently it has water fountains coming out of the ground so.. you should pay a visit.DSC03046
  11. Broadway Show:   For art and music lovers, its a once in a lifetime experience. Actually my message to everybody, you should attend a Broadway show, if you are in London or New York! Its absolutely amazing. We visited Mamma Mia musical show and it was a scene I can never forget!DSC03237

PLACES TO SHOP IN, WHEN IN LONDON:

If your not earning in pounds, its quite expensive to shop in London.

But if you really want to shop for some good products shop at airports.. hahaha..

So, there are 4 shopping streets which you have to visit is you are a shopaholic.

Oxford Circus and Piccadilly are on of the most expensive street but to visit them once does one no harm. Camden street on the other hand is reasonable and you get good stuff there. And last but the not the least Covent Garden, good stuff some ate expensive, some are reasonable.

I am no shopper so this is the best advice I could give you. (sorry)

HOW TO GET AROUND ON LONDON:

Trains are hands down the best way to get around London. The train connects you to most of the place, if not exact then to a walk able distance. There is not much hassle in the trains, the only confusion thing is the usage of oyster cards and which line to take. The trains lines are denoted by colours. You will find a map on the station, pick-up the map and you are good to go, else the people in London are quite helpful, ask anybody and they will point you in the right direction.

Disclaimer: this is my preference, you may find other transport easy as well

Buses are also quite simple once you get to know the system. I personally found the bus system very complicated, yes there are direct buses form point A to point B but that depends on what bus stop you are on etc etc.. frankly I never warned up to the system of the buses so I did not even understand how to exactly make use of them.

Taxi and walking are another 2 options. Walking is great to explore if the places you want to go to are close by.

WHAT TO EAT:

So now this is very important. If you are in a group, don’t order one dish per person, its a waste if money and waste of your appetite. The food is great every where. Whatever you order you will enjoy it, but don’t order too much because each portion is quite huge and expensive as well.


 

All the above pictures are taken by me or the people who were with me. There is no copy-right or piracy here. I am honest.

All what is written is in my opinion, and i have experienced and seen everything firsthand. Trust me, I wouldn’t lie.

Thank you for giving your time to read it, I really hope you enjoyed it, if you did please leave a comment on what you liked, if you did not enjoy it please leave a comment.

Thank you once again.

Have a great day ahead and keep reading! 🙂

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Etching Happiness: Uroli

 

I was travelling again, alone again, in the train again but this time to Delhi, the capital of India. My mom was very scared and happy as well, as a matter of fact she gave me a name also, vagabond. While the train was heading towards Delhi, I was sitting quietly in my seat which was thankfully near the window. I had mixed feelings about this trip. I was laughing to my self, feeling proud and having fun by myself. This is when I conscientiously realised that I in fact do love my own company, I love to stay with myself.

So, this was it, I was on the road yet again, this time ready to experience and learn. What came as a surprise were the amazing friends that I made, which I am very proud of. It all started out in Delhi, I reached Delhi during early afternoon and was in the hotel by lunch time. I saw a lot of familiar faces as well as new friendly faces who were very welcoming. I was sharing a room with another instructor named Sonia. We became relatively friendly and after a while I found myself with her and 3 other instructors on the metro train on our way to Decathlon.

After the alarm went off at 3 o’clock in the morning me and Sonia got up and got ready as we had to leave the hotel by 3:30 with other instructors. The meeting point for the kids was the Delhi Railway station. After sometime we found ourselves on Shatabadi Express honking our way to Kathgodam station. I was put in a different coach, but because of the kids had to constantly make my way through 2 coaches to keep the kids entertained. Which was fun as its better to get acquainted to kids before hand. Then the camp is nothing else but a lot of fun. When we reached the Uroli campsite, I was awestruck! It was nothing but pure beauty which existed in reality in front of my eyes. All the tiredness from the 12 hour journey just vanished and i was ready to conduct the camp.

The first programme was only of 6 days. I wanted to stay a little longer, and right then a miracle occurred and I stayed back for one more programme in the same campsite. I adored the camp with all my heart. Along these 6 days of the first programme, I learned a lot. I was thankful to be working with the best team there was, with Tony sir as my team leader, who I had already worked with. Our team was like a well oiled machine, everybody knew their own parts, no tiff’s no grudges and we carried out the activities very very smoothly and somewhat very humorously.

During these 6 days I was with the backpacking team. I wanted a little bit of a change and for one day I changed my team to that of rock climbing. There was this kid who wanted to be with me for very long. When she found out that on that day I was not going for backpacking she lost her cool. Thankfully she did not cry, but she made a huge scene even with my team leaders, nothing major. But that act was very emotionally touching in a certain way. Moreover, I could see that my team members also did not want me to leave, I mean that’s what I felt. But I went with rock climbers anyway.

All in all when these 6 days were over the kids took away with them a lot of memories and bonds were created with us as well. We all had a day’s break before the next group was going to come. The whole camp was to ourselves, there were no kids to watch over, no one to wake us up in the morning and on top of it, it started raining. All of us were more than happy to crash out early after dinner and sleep in late.

The next set of kids were a bit older than the previous lot. They made themselves at home as soon as they entered the camp. Though tired from the the long journey, their energy level was still as high as the Everest! they were welcomed with heavy rain, very heavy rain. After they were all allotted to their respective tents, they were made acquainted with us as we all were to spend 8 days with each other. Might as well spend it peacefully. :p

So, I was in the backpacking team again with two new members and two old members including me. This time each group would stay with us for 3 days and then the next group would come again for 3 days. These 3 days also included a night out in the wild. I adored my first group very much. On the first day we took them to our usual route and the usual lectures that we conduct. During the course of day one, we all became very close to each other. Which put my mind at peace that the next two days will be good, especially the night out. To my surprise all the kids of my team were crazily excited about the night out. In no time, on day two, we were packed and ready to go. Because there were a lot of girls and it was a night out I insisted on taking one more lady instructor with me. The night out which we were a bit scared of went off very smoothly. Kids did see a baby fox there, but they were not scared at all. We had a campfire which the kids thoroughly enjoyed. From that day on wards I was known as the “Chuha” didi, because I did a rhyme which they absolutely loved. I was also known as the “Haryali” didi because of a power up I conducted.

Oh! The night out for the kids was a total hit, but the night out for the instructors…… It was no doubt amazing, but we had no tents, we had to sleep under the tarp. Which was indeed amazing, but then it started raining, and to top it all the tarp was not big enough to fit 6 instructors. But the night past and we all came out of the tarp alive. That night changed the equation between me and the kids. We all became much much closer to each other. They adored me and I returned their love with all my heart.

When we came back from the night out in the morning, the kids were in for a surprise. We took them for a bath, in the stream. It was the coldest water I had ever been in till date, on top of that, there was rain with hailstorm. That day was unforgettable, it will always be etched as a perfect memory in my brain.

The next day the groups were switched and I switched with my group to rock climbing. But sadly, it did not last very long, I injured my self and was not able to go with my group for remaining 2 days. Though, I kinda left the kids, the kids of group 1 did not leave me. The kids would come to me to talk about their day, show me their talents, and then we would start singing songs. And of course the chuha rhyme followed. The most special thing was 3 of the kids, made a lovely get well soon card for me. I was emotionally touched, with all the love I was getting.

On the last day, I did not want to leave the camp site, but I had to go back, I had to come home. The kids cried because they didn’t want to leave the camp, some actually cried because they did not want to leave me. But they had to, everyone had to go. And so did I.

And this way, another wonderful camp came to an end, and I was home again. This trip was nothing but a wonderful journey of friendship, love and happiness. I made friends with the instructors who are still very much in touch with me. I created memories with the kids, which will always be ingrained in my brain, and always hold a special place in my heart. Uroli was the best camp of this summer, hands down. I tell this very honestly and very truthfully. The lessons I learned, the love I received, the bonds I created are beyond anything in this world. This trip was all about discovering yourself and it made me realise there is so much more to this world and with just a simple smile and politeness we can touch so many lives and hearts.


 

Thank you for reading.

All the pictures in this blog which do not have me in it are clicked by me.

Everything in this blog is written through experience. I hope you all like it. Please like this blog so that i receive your encouragement. Since you are here please comment, criticism is most welcomed.

Thank you!

P.S- The featured image does not have me in it, but it describes my exact feelings for this camp.

Mindset Of a Traveller!

Time to Travel people!

The season of travelling has arrived and I am here to give you tips on how to travel.

We travel for two purposes:  a.) Luxury.     b.) Because we love travelling.

Personally in my lifetime (whatever lifetime I have had) I have travelled with family, without family, international school trips and also spontaneous alone drives (not far off though :P). I have experienced luxury travelling, but not luxury as in staying ONLY in the hotel room, with luxury travelling I have experienced actual travelling, like sightseeing and stuff. Contrary to this I have also slept nights in a temple floor, with freezing temperature outside and also on the surface of the Earth (literally) with nothing but a small sheet separating us from the ground and all the mud (but legs still being in mud).

So I can safely say that I have had my share of experiences with travelling. 😛

In this post I will be covering the LUXURY mindset of a traveller. And hopefully the next will follow soon.

Now lets see how to start of when you are aiming for Luxury travelling:

1.)  Have a nice Hotel room to go to.

When you are planning your luxury travelling, always remember that while you are booking a hotel room, to where ever your destination maybe, always book a room with a nice view and jaw dropping facilities.

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Having a nice view from the Hotel room and awesome facilities, you can experience the actual luxury that you have come to experience. The view from the room keeps you entertained while the facilities make you lazy. A beautiful view of snow-caped mountains or a river gushing at its full pace or a sunny beach whose waves can be heard constantly, will be all the adventure you will need. This is a small getaway from the reality, where you can meditate and shop till you drop.

2.) Shopping Therapy.

Believe it or not, shopping is a therapy. It is indeed a stress buster. You are free to ask any psychologist in the world, or even refer to books about it.

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When it comes to destination shopping, there is a sudden rush. We want to take as much as possible, because we feel if we leave out things, we are not coming back for them. This is a one time thing. Buy as much as you want if you don’t have space buy another suitcase, enjoy shopping. Be creatively greedy and shop your minds out. Have a smile on our face when you have paid for something. I know it is a wrong advice, but do it, feel that rush. Once in a while, it’s okay!

3.) What to carry.

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Don’t let your closet leave you in dilemma. Take control! If your goal is to solely enjoy on this vacation then why carry the weight of sports shoes. Your motto should be “dress to impress”. You maybe with your family, your friends or with anybody, dress like everyday is a red carpet day. Carry heels or simple pair of footwear which goes with any dress. Also one pair of comfortable footwear, just in-case you are feeling adventurous! 

4.) Planning of events.

Plan events according to your time and convenience. If you want to then do it, otherwise you can leave the adventure. You don’t have to rush into everything, get up late and plan the day ahead with a calm mind. If you want to laze around during the day, you re free to do that, don’t feel guilty about it. Planning is not an issue. You can either go on a one day safari ride, or just take a cable car and sit on the snow caped mountains or even explore all the trendy restaurants. You are there to relax, do not go on an adventure spree, unless that’s what you are there for. 😛

5.) Mode of Travelling

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Mode of travelling- according to your convenience! 😛 

These are few tips to travel when you are on a luxury travel. Even when you are on a luxury travel, you can still explore the city and country side. Trust me sitting in a hotel room is very boring. The basic aim for luxury travelling is to not rush it means to have a quiet get away, be it for a week, a day, 10 days or 7 days. You are there to enjoy, so do that. This does not necessarily has to be in an exotic foreign location, when you are travelling luxury, go where you have been (that is just my tip). But don’t ever forget to ENJOY!

Darkness: The Divine Path

Light and dark, a simple concept of good and evil, happiness and sadness, knowledge and ignorance and so on. It is human nature that we always associate light with the good and darkness with the evil. We always use the statement “Let there be light.” Have you ever wondered why?

“Let there be Light” was the first statement in the Bible. In fact Mesopotamian population believed in the concept, that the world was created because of the victory of God over the forces of chaos and darkness. We always associate God with the forces of light. So when we say that the world was created because of the victory of God over chaos we indirectly say that the world emerged because of victory of light over darkness. This is a very orthodox belief. We all quite well understand it.

In this write up I would like to bring out the unknown fact about the concept of light and darkness. 

Egyptians believed that the world emerged out of darkness and swirling chaos. They also believed that darkness had a form and a purpose for existing.

You must be thinking what could be the form and purpose of darkness?

In Egyptian Mythology we have a God named KeK and Goddess named Kauket,  which literally translates as darkness. These two were husband and wife and controlled or more so ruled over the night or darkness. This is the form of darkness. 

Now about the purpose of darkness.

You will not find it anywhere on the internet if you search in mythologies. (Trust me I have tried) The purpose of darkness is very spiritually related. We know that darkness is inevitable, when there is light there is darkness. That is, when there is good there is evil. Where there is god there are demons. What darkness really tells us is that darkness comes from absence of love. It is a constant reminder to us that we are not in alignment with our true nature.

When the sun sets, we feel the light is gone. But this is the most important time. Take darkness as divine path towards Light or happiness or Love. If the sun won’t set we will never experience the joy of a sunrise. If we wont face the darkness or sadness, we will never experience the joy of a sunrise or happiness or a new day, a new opportunity, a new possibility.

Darkness gives us the time to heal, to rejuvenate and get ready for a new day. This is the time when we really find our true selves. It becomes the Ultimate path to Divine Light. Embrace it, love it, make it your part, endure it and you will never feel blue again.

I have started loving sunsets, have you?

 

BookReview

So I have been reading a book which is in a total vintage state, a love story and I had to write a review about it though it is quite different than what I usually write that is about my travels but anyway.

I found my self reading Barbara Cartland’s “A Fugitive From Love”. Name of the book is very accurate to the story which goes with it. A love story between a fugitive from a harsh series of incidents and abuse and a handsome, wealthy prince who was moving away from a terrible heartbreak in his Aphrodite (you need to read the book to understand what is Aphrodite, it does not refer to Greek God of love.)

The book starts in a scenario where we are enlightened with the poor financial situation which the female protagonist with her father faced. The male protagonist was not seen in the picture till almost half of the book but it was worth the wait.After the introduction the book moves on to all the good parts. Emotions are well portrayed!

The book is a simple love story, fast pacing it doesn’t bore you in the middle. The writer keeps you entertained through out, because something or the other is happening. Sentences like “impersonal refuge against the terror that possessed her.” and “collapse into unconsciousness so that she won’t feel the agony of what was inevitable”, give a literal literature rush!

Handsome male: check

Beautiful girl: check

Abusive, conniving and evil characters: check

This book is a total package and according to me it is 3/5 stars!

P.S- this is my first attempt on writing a review do let me know, if it was okay and helpful. Please write what you feel in the comment section below! And don’t forget to give it a like. Because your likes and encouragement drives me to write more and more. Thank you!