London! Escape from India!

Trip Start Mar 29, 2007
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Woo hoo....a chance to get out of India for a few days.  Even better...Tanya's coming with me! 

My job needed me to fly up to London for a few days to present, so off I went with Tanya coming along as well to hang with some ex-school mates from Australia who she hasn't seen in many, many years.  Tanya and I left Friday night on Air Qatar (through Doha) which means we arrived into London on Saturday afternoon.  After a long, long tube ride into the city center, we check into the hotel...and promptly head to the nearest pub so Brandon can get his first proper pint of beer in nearly six months.  :)  Oh...did I mention London is cold and rainy...and I didn't really pack for cold and rainy...but I digress.  After the pub, we caught the tube to Fullham Road to meet my friend Sarah who I first met in Thailand 3+ years ago.  Sarah is an Aussie like Tanya so the two of them instantly bonded despite the noisy and crowded bar we were in.  It was great to see her and the bar (The Elk Bar) sort of grew on the end of the night, I didn't want to leave.  We left around 1AM...unfortunately the tube shuts down at midnight and Tanya and I had no idea which bus to catch...which mean Brandon paid for a very expensive black cab back to the hotel.  C'est la vie.

Sunday's's pouring actually.  Regardless, we make our way to the tube under my umbrella and head to the Camden Market.  We were both cold and wet after walking around Camden for a bit, so a pub stop was necessary to dry off and have a quick drink (it's 11AM...perfect time for a Guiness).  Tanya had her first Pim's and lemonade which she loved....and after a while, we both felt dry enough to go out and get wet again.  After purchasing some bric-a-brac and another umbrella for Tanya so we could both say fully dry instead of half-dry.  Lunch was at an all-you-can eat Sushi place...I think since my visit they have gone bankrupt.  Seriously...I hadn't had Sushi in so long they started yelling at me: "You Go Home Now!....You Eat Too Much!".  After a bit more shopping, we hopped on the tube back to the hotel as I had to meet my co-workers for some Sunday afternoon prep meetings before our Monday presentation.  While I slaved away with my coworkers on our presentation...Tanya walked around Convent Gardens and enjoyed the rest of the day in London.

Monday...up early to catch a cab with my coworkers to our offices in London....not much else to report except that it was a long day.  That night we ate at a great French place while Tanya caught up with some former class mates from Australia who now live in London.  After dinner I joined Tanya and her friends for some wine and conversation.

Tuesday is Tanya's birthday so I arranged a birthday cake to be delivered to the room before I left for the office.  Work was the same...another long day.  That evening Tanya and I went out for a nice the same French restaurant from the night before.  Don't was really good. I had an option to fly back this morning which would mean because of the time loss flying east, I would be on a plane all day today (a workday) and then I would arrive into Hyderabad at 2:30 AM Thursday morning India time.  Thursday happens to be a national holiday in India which means I would be arriving just in time to have a holiday.  Sounds like a good plan...however why spend an entire work day flying and then holiday in India when you could spend and extra day in London (connected via my blackberry vs unconnected on a plane) and then fly-back on the Indian holiday?  Makes perfect sense to me!  So Tanya and I decided to hang around London for an extra day...but we checked out of the hotel thinking we really didn't need to fork over $500 of our own money for a few hours of sleep (our flight leaves Thursday at 5AM).  We figured we could find a late night bar/pub to hang out in and then drive to the airport around 3AM....didn't quite work out that way.  Because this was our last day, I made a rule that we had to stop in a pub every hour and enjoy a pint as it would be the last chance in a long time for me to have good beer.  Tanya reluctantly agreed to my genius plan.  Our trip started with breakfast, then a tube to Harods for some window shopping....then a pub inside the Harods.  After staring at ridiculously priced stuff, and paying a ridiculous amount for a pint of Ale, we were off to the Millennium Bridge for a walk across the Thames to Tanya's favorite museum...the Tate Modern.  Afterwards, a pub stop of course to keep my hourly schedule.  We ended up a beautiful park for a nice nap and then a light lunch somewhere (I forgot)...with a pint of course.  As the sun started to set, we found ourselves in Convent Garden with about 12 hours to kill before our flight...ugh.  As we walked around Tanya saw a sign for a Wednesday night comedy club in the basement of a local club...sold!  The comedy show was ok...some bombs, but some great comics as well.  So now it's 10PM and we're getting sleepy. we decided to get our bags from the hotel and hop in a taxi to the airport where we'd find a place to crash for a few hours.  The drive to the airport took no time and we find ourselves looking for comfortable places to sleep for 5 hours.  Tanya scored us a primo couch in a 24 hour coffee shop and we rested until our flight time.

It was great to get out of India for a few days and even better to spend it with Tanya.  Enjoy the pics.
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