So, I am getting the hang of the London tube system. It’s not that complicated as people make it sound. Once you understand the basics of the main lines, its as easy as the Delhi Metro, if you think, the Delhi metro is easy that is.
Today, I had to meet a friend (A) in Covent Garden. I decided to get there early. As soon as you walk out of Covent Garden station, there is a buzz in the air. Covent Garden is a district of Westminster, in Greater London. It reminded me a little of Trafalgar square, though condensed in size and more maze like. Once again I was met with street musicians, artists, magic shows and the like. There is always enough for people to stop and see while they walk around. It had too many shops to count. It ranged from high end to street fair. It is also the theatre area, so a lot of people were around for that.
There were some lovely shops within Covent Garden, especially in an area called Apple Market. I have noticed beautiful artwork in many of these street shops in London, some are obviously more touristy being images of London in black and white, with a hint of red of the buses or the telephone booths, while some are pop art, commercial work and some from popular culture like films, TV shows, musicians etc.
It was a really hot day. A good one actually come to think of it. I met my friend and we walked around the area for a bit before heading for dinner. Hailing from London, she had some interesting things to tell. For instance, as we passed the Savoy Hotel, she told me that it was the only road in London where they have to drive on the opposite side of the road. This was because in the olden days, horse drawn carriages entered from the right and it was easier to open doors especially for women who sat at the back. To know in detail, read Guardian‘s article on the same.
We then passed by the famous King’s College, where we also saw a plaque on the wall which struck me being Indian as it was about an Astrologer. There are multiple plaques of interest all over London. The colors of the plaques reflect the type of commemoration (blue for people; red for events in the city’s social history; black for buildings of architectural or historic interest; green for other subjects). The Green Plaque Scheme draws attention to particular buildings in Westminster associated with people of renown who have made lasting contributions to society.
We crossed the famous Somerset House while walking and then went to a local pub where my friend had the Indian ale. I am not a beer person, but I find the beer on tap culture here fascinating. The types of beer are mind boggling, and the taps that they come out of look so great. Since my conversion from Old Monk to Gin (easier to access in these parts of the world.), I ended up having the Portobello Gin which is a little citrusy. The pub’s name was The George, but what caught my eye was the restaurant it had on the first floor, so had to take a picture of that. It was called Pig & Goose. Brits have the strangest names for things. Though I am one to say, I still laugh at the stupid names of restaurants, especially the misspelt ones in India.
We chatted for a bit and then headed for Sushi. The one thing I am always ready to have. Sushi dinner was amazing. It was at a restaurant called Eat Tokyo, and I think I did eat, half of Tokyo. It might seem odd to mention, but this restaurant had those fancy Japanese Panasonic electronic toilets. I think I stayed in the loo for 5 minutes more just to see what all it could do. Anyway, even though I think I had way too much, it was a perfect evening. The company, the food, the mini history tour. It’s great to meet friends when you travel. I do love traveling alone, but meetings like these are always something to look forward to.
While walking out towards the station, I saw this taxi which had ride with pride written on it. I took one last picture for the night, we reached the station and went our separate ways. Thus coming to an end, Day 5 of London.