Friday, June 13, 2008

A Week In England & Paris (Part 1)

'Gracias', said the man standing in front of me at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport, mistaking me for Hispanic, as I returned the quarter that he had dropped on the floor. I let that slide without a reply as I was more involved with the thought of spending a week in London, Oxford, York and Paris. My sister studies in London, and since I had absolutely nothing to do, except for playing Winning 11 on the Playstation, I decided to take a trip to visit her. It was going to be my first ever trip to Europe and needless to say, I was excited.

I reached London, after a 10 hour flight where I got no sleep, and was greeted at the surprisingly underwhelming Heathrow airport by my sister. The thought of breakfast quickly vanished as I checked the price of a ' bagette', and so following my miserly instincts, I bought orange juice and got on to the train that would take me to my sister's dorm. London has a pretty efficient metro system, but the names of some of the lines and stations are quite funny. For example, you could take the 'Piccadilly' line to get to 'Cockfosters'.

Anyway, soon after I dumped my stuff at my sister's alarmingly small but comfy room, we went on an open top bus tour which was made even more special thanks to the cold and wet English weather, well complemented by my jetlag. I did, however, get to see some of the renowned sights of London - the Big Ben, the Buckingham Palace, the 'British Airways' London Eye, and of course the restaurant where the tickets to the Titanic (the ship, not the movie) were sold. The restaurant is surprisingly called 'The Texas Embassy'.

The next day, my sister and I woke up early to stand in line to get tickets for the incredibly popular musical, 'Wicked'. Wicked was, (pardon the lame attempt to act British) simply wicked. Brilliant special effects and a very clever story make it a must see. My jet lag got the better of me again and so I wasn't able to explore London after the show. I had to wake up early the following day because we had to catch a bus to Oxford.


I fell in love with Oxford - the beautiful architecture, the cafes and pubs that were full of life and just the history of the place was enough to captivate me. I went on a walking tour through the town as I learnt about the history behind the different colleges (there are 39 of them) at the university. And my sister's friend who studies there made awesome Indian food for us. I would love to go back to Oxford to do a study abroad, not that I'm not studying abroad right now, but still.
There was more travelling to do the next day as I took a train from King's Cross Station to York. I know what you're thinking and yes, I did try pushing a trolley through Platform 9 ¾… it didn't work. Anyway, I was in York for a day where Manasi gave me a tour of the city with the world's smallest window and the world's narrowest street. It also houses the street with the funniest name (Whip-ma-whop-ma). And I got another awesome home-made Indian dinner. The day ended with a Ghost tour where I was part of a group of little kids who seemed to shout out whenever the guide raised his voice. Kids get scared so easily, I mean I only shouted out like once...or twice.

I reached London in the afternoon the next day, and my sister met me at the station took me to Madam Tusaud’s Wax Museum. I had told my friends back in Austin that I was taller than Aishwarya Rai and below is photographic evidence.

Ash, Me and the Father-in-law

Tusaud’s was over priced, but was a lot of fun. Some of the likenesses were amazing (I mistook a wax photographer to be real and kept waiting for her to take her picture), but some were pretty poor (Jennifer Aniston is way hotter in real life).

See, Aniston looks like she's 50... I mean, I look hotter than her! (no snide comments please, let me have my moment)

So, next it was off to Manchester, or so I thought...

(to be continued)

7 comments:

Coconut Chutney said...

show off! scene putter!

ps: orey the updates! kalakara...

Coconut Chutney said...

show off! scene putter!

ps: orey the updates! kalakara...

Coconut Chutney said...

Particularly lol-ing at "I'm hotter than her". nenappu pozhappa kedakum (thats 'thinking livelihood spoiling' for you, peter) :p

and i kinda goofed with the clicking in the previous comment, so it got duplicated. my apologies.

Coconut Chutney said...

Particularly lol-ing at "I'm hotter than her". nenappu pozhappa kedakum (thats 'thinking livelihood spoiling' for you, peter) :p

and i kinda goofed with the clicking in the previous comment, so it got duplicated. my apologies.

Coconut Chutney said...

er. oops i did it again?

Manasi Subramaniam said...

I say! Say more things about York and your lovely tour guide! I demand a separate post devoted to the subject!

varsha said...

The ash part is funeee.
and yes aniston looks like she's 50 :)