Entry into England and Sunday noon trip to St.Albans

St. Albans Travel Blog

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View of the Emirates A380 as we left Heathrow

So, another month rolls  by and YET another trip to the UK. A few years ago when I first started travelling to the UK, everyone I know went "wow". These days, it's become more of a joke! All my good friends are asking me when my next trip is, or why I haven't gone in a "long time" when it's been only 2 months since my last trip, etc etc. I guess I not only love visiting London that much, but subconsciously as well, I feel  I have to visit it every now and then, the same way I feel the need to visit my home town of Bengaluru on a frequent basis.

So, this time around, it was a very short weekend on my way back from Bengaluru but an eventful one all the same. My BA flight left Bengaluru sharp at 645am on Sunday morning.

Waffle House, St.Albans
It was really nice seeing  the big jumbo in the morning sun rays, the only big aircraft in the newly constructed BLR international airport. Flight took off on time and the flight overall was comfortable. I was mildly amused at how the BA voice announcements were in English, Hindi and Kannada. Most foreign carriers that fly to India only have announcements in English and Hindi, so it was kind of funny to hear them say it in Kannada as well. Thumbs up! I slept through out the flight, the food was so-so and not as good as how it was during my inbound flight to Bengaluru. The flight arrived on time, well 15 minutes earlier and there I was, back at T5.

Immigration was a breeze, no customs and I had to lug my 2 heavy bags from T5 to T3 on the HEX. It was quite a walk from the HEX stop all the way to the T3 Arrivals where the Left Luggage department is.

View of the street down St.Albans
I finally checked the bags in. I reckon there were lots of Middle Eastern flights that had arrived in LHR then as the airport was filled with Arabs dressed in black veil.

My friend Adam rang me and requested me to wait by the Left Luggage dept. I found some time to get a coffee and a sandwich. He came around 2pm and and we  were off on the M25 headed towards St.Albans where I would be meeting with another friend - Jill and her French student Clement. The drive was quite good, one of the few times I've been driven on a UK highway and I can safely say it was as big as a Texan highway! The thing that I was happy about the most was seeing the Emirates A380 on one of the roundabouts near Heathrow. Very impressive. Emirates are unashamedly the Kings of self promotion!

We reached St.

Albans by 3pm and parked at our meeting place, The Waffle House. Jill and Clement hadn't arrived so we went for a walk through the park for about 15 minutes. By the time we returned, Jill and Clement had arrived and we all had a waffle each. I had some Summery waffle, was quite good with cinnamon and raisins. We chatted about our lives, the places that Clement had seen in England, etc. After we finished eating, we went for a short walk around the town.

St.Albans is a town I'd been meaning on seeing from as early as 2005 but almost every time it just never worked out for me. Either another 'better' place would come up on the programme, or I just wouldn't have enough time to see it. So I'm kind of glad I got to see it this time. We went to the Cathedral, looks very nice although quite generic to all the other Cathedrals I've seen.

Idle day in Verulamium Park
To me, the charm was the actual town. It is little, yet spacious enough and I thought more relaxed and less crowded compared to other "quaint" towns I've been to like York and Chester.

We walked up to the Clock Tower. Jill and I climed atop whilst Adam and Clement sat below. We had a good time, the view was lovely. I love seeing English fields during sunset. The greenish green goes so well with the reddish sunset rays. I was very very impressed. I've even clicked a few photos as you can see.

We headed back to The Waffle House carpark, said our goodbyes and Adam dropped me off at the nearest Tube station. En route, Adam was giving me an erudite explanation on UK roads, the significance on naming conventions of the As and the Ms, it was very interesting.

I caught the Tube back to my home in London, Earl's Court. It feels like I've been here a million times and every time I come, it only seems to get better and I feel more and more at home. To me, the best part of Earl's Court is the walk from the Tube station to Bolton Gardens. I almost go back to August'05, my first visit to this place and how enamoured I was by it all. I still feel that way, it's absolutely magical. It's the history and yet the lively activities that come together and make this place very vibrant and yet, very warm. It feels like coming back to a school playground - there's mirth, there's joy, there's revelry and yet, there are the taxis, the double decker buses and BA aeroplanes in the sky that remind you that you're in historical London.

The four of us enjoying waffles at the Waffle House

I checked in around 7pm, took my cold tablets and went for a walk. Well I first stopped at the newsie's, picked up a large Onken Biopot (papaya, mango and passionfruit), a loaf of bread and milk. I then headed for dinner to Wagamama's (seemed the only place that serves non fried food!), I had a big tub of Ramen noodles in coconut milk, really really tasty and then ended up at the Internet Centre. I surfed for about 30 mins before walking back to the hostel in the sunset. It was a great feeling.

I love Earl's Court. Just absolutely love it.

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View of the Emirates A380 as we le…
View of the Emirates A380 as we l…
Waffle House, St.Albans
Waffle House, St.Albans
View of the street down St.Albans
View of the street down St.Albans
Idle day in Verulamium Park
Idle day in Verulamium Park
The four of us enjoying waffles at…
The four of us enjoying waffles a…
Ye Old Fighting Cocks, one of Engl…
Ye Old Fighting Cocks, one of Eng…
St.Albans Cathedral
St.Albans Cathedral
The Clock Tower
The Clock Tower
Atop the Clock Tower
Atop the Clock Tower
View of the Cathedral from the Clo…
View of the Cathedral from the Cl…
Grave of Robert Alexander Kennedy,…
Grave of Robert Alexander Kennedy…
Walk down the street
Walk down the street
How rare is this?! Empty tube
How rare is this?! Empty tube
View of Earls Court from my hostel
View of Earl's Court from my hostel
Earls Court, my UK home!
Earl's Court, my UK home!
Wagamama on Earls Court where I h…
Wagamama on Earl's Court where I …
St. Albans
photo by: Vikram