Lake District and Oxford

Trip Start Sep 24, 2008
Trip End Jul 21, 2009

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, September 30, 2008

After a redeye flight from JFK to London, I arrived at Sweta and Keith's new flat in Southfields, a five minute walk from the England Lawn and Tennis Club, site of the Championships Wimbledon.  After quickly washing up, we were off on a 5 hour train journey north to the Lake District.  The Lake District is a gorgeous region with tons of lakes (obviously) in the shape of the Finger Lakes region of New York, lush sheep and cow filled meadows, dry stone walls, and small towns. 

We stayed at Southview B&B, a charming place run by two fantastic guys Phil and Richard ("Did you go to New York with your wife?") in the town of Windermere.  Our evenings, after having dinner and a few drinks, were spent in the front room of the B&B with Phil and northern couples - one from Glasgow and the other from Liverpool.  Nice people there on holidays (one of the couples had never been to London) with remarkable accents and relatively small town provincial charm who challenged my natural prejudice that rough British northerners are all tough drunks.  In actuality, they are hard working family oriented people like everywhere else.  This one chap was the British dog whisperer - we need to get him a show out here to challenge that Caesar guy. 

On Saturday, we strolled through the town of Windermere and hopped a lake cruise over to the cute village of Ambleside where these cows have taken over a meadow that houses a ruined fortification and ruggers practice on a field with amazing 360 degree scenery.  There are amazingly cute dogs everywhere - dog haters beware.  Sunday morning, we took a short hike up this tree covered trail (walled off by the dry stone walls made of shale) up to Orrest Head viewpoint.  The lookout provided a panoramic view of the fells (mountains/hills) surrounding Lake Windermere and the rolling hills with walls that reminded me of Morgan Freeman walking down the walls in Prince of Thieves.  All I wanted to do was run forever along the stone walls and meadows like a ten year old.  That afternoon saw an awfully long return trip back to London. 

Monday morning, I accompanied Sweta up to Oxford.  She is a D.Phil candidate in Social Policy and I jumped at the opportunity to see one of the most gorgeous university towns in the world.  All of the buildings (with exception of the Said Business School) were uniformly built almost 900 years ago, each of the schools with churches and cloistered gardens.  There is an awesome aura walking where Sir Isaac Newton and so many other greats spent their formidable years.  Juxtaposing the buildings are flowing rivers/canals and meadows providing an amazing place to study.  That being said, my beloved Berkeley offers greater natural surroundings, but Oxford is a place to see. 

Monday evening witnessed a family reunion of sorts as my cousin Pasy is spending the year abroad at LSE.  My uncle, aunt, Pasy, Sweta, Keith and me all got together for a nice Indian dinner to celebrate Sweta's recent engagement, Pasy's welcome to London and the beginning of my travels.  Always nice to be with family and I'm sure I will yearn for such moments somewhere down the road. 

The rest of this week has been spent in London meeting up with various friends before the real adventures begin on Saturday when I head to India.  I'll post a short London blog w/ pics later in the week. 



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sachinmeghan on

Hello Hari!
Glad to hear you made it and your journey has begun... we will be following your adventures closely.

Meghan & Sachin

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