GREAT BRITAIN: The largest island in Europe in northwest of the continent and separated from the mainland by the English Channel-- constitutional monarchy comprising England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. London, Birmingham and Glasgow are major cities.
We landed at Weymouth Port in England and again riding on camper for the rest of our journey. In Weymouth we visited the Royal Hall where George III stayed, now converted into a Hotel. On the way visited Salisbury--Ameburg Stonehenge, the place where old inhabitants worshipped the Sun God.
STRATFORD: Shakespeare's birth place:- Stratford-upon-Avon:- Town in Warwickshires central England, famous for its association with William Shakespeare who was born and died there. A tourist center and the site of Shakespeare's annual festival.
Shakespeare,William (1564-1616) the greatest English dramatist and poet. He, the son of trades-man, was bor and dies in Stratford-upon-Avon. He had established a reputation in London both as anactor and a playwright. All ages have admired his command of language. We witnessed the drame "Tempest" writen by him the the Royal Shakespeare's theatre in Stratford. Night halt in Bed & Breakfast Home in the neighbouring village. In the morning we started to visit his birth place- John Harvard's home the founder of the Harvard University in Boston, USA -- The River Avon -- Katherine's home (Shakespeare's sister) -- Hathaway's (his wife) home. Anne Hathaway was born at Shothery near Stratford and married Shekespeare in 1582. She bore him three children, a daughter Sisanna and the twins Hamnet and Judith. The farm house where they lived is preserved as a museum. We went around the museum and the gardens.
On the way to London, visited Oxford City in South Central England. The county town of Oxfordshire, it is between Thames River (known locally as the Isis) and its tributary, the Chewed. Its University (1249) is one of the World's most important places of learning; its historic buildings dominate the city center. Oxford is full of universities. Went around Queen's College, Trinity College where Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru studied, Biological College and University College. Arrived London on 31st Aug 1988.
LONDON: the Capital of United Kingdom and one of the largest cities of the world covering 1580 square Kilometers (612 Square Miles) north and south of Thames River. the city of London is surrounded by Greater London which consists of 32 boroughs. One of these, the City of Westminster contains the House of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, government ministries and Buckingham Palace. London is one of the world's most important banking and insurance centers and Britain's largest port. It is also a major industrial area, its products ranging from machinery, chemicals and motor vehicles to motion pictures, clothing and luxury goods.
Driven through the London Bridge (the very first recorded bridge to span the Thames River. The first London Bridge of stone that replaced a wooden one was completed in 1209 and was lined with houses and chapel) reached Tower of London, the fortress or prison. The London Bridge is the subject of the famous nursery rhyme,
"London Bridge is falling down
Falling down, falling down
London Bridge is falling down
My fair lady."
We joined the tour. The guide explained the history of the Tower of London, Bloody Tower, Sackles, Middle Tower, Bauyer Tower and prisons. He showed the places where the prisoners including the kings were beheaded and hanged. In the end he took us to the place where the jeweleries and the weapons of the king and queen were kept for safe custody behind the glass walls. We saw the royal Kohinoor Diamond from India decorated at the center of the crown. The dazzle of the diamond seemed to pierce our eyes. We are told that the jewels and ornaments are taken to the palace at the time of functions and ceremonies.
Visited St. Paul's Cathedral where Prince Charles married Princess Diana. Saw the House of the Parliament on the Thames from outside (not open to public), and the Big Ben Clock. At night we viewed the production of the critically acclaimed musical "The Phantom of Opera" in Her Majesty's Theatre. Next day we saw the change-of-guards ceremony took place in front of the Buckingham Palace. We saw Palace Buildings from outside as it was restricted for public at that time.
Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the British Sovereign, situated at the western end of St. James park between Bridgewalk and the Mall.
Visited Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park an ancient park in central London occupying 146 Hectares (360 acres). It became a royal deer park under Henry VIII. Charles I opened it to the public in 1635. Visited Marble Arch and Piccadilly Square -famous thoroughfare in western London, running west from Piccadilly Circus to Hyde Park corner. It forms the boundary of the Mayfair district. Drank coffee in Hard Rock Cafe. Dinner at Santhosh Indian Restaurant owned by a Keralite. Night halt in Adelphi Hotel, London.
September 1, 1988, Kapali left London to San Francisco and Lynn, Shanti & Sheila sailed over the English Channel from Dover to Calais, France, to return to the Camper at Amsterdam. After handing over the camper, they flew to Amsterdam to San Francisco.
On 2nd September, I was left alone now. I departed London via Metro train to Manchester to meet my friend Kalyanam and his family (boarding the train at Euston to Manchester- a two and a half hour journey) and stayed there for 3 days. Mr. Kalyanam took me to visit Manchester downtown village craft house and the highest peak in England. One night we had our dinner in Bangladeshi restaurant- a very hot spicy food. Returned from Manchester to Euston and from Euston to Heathrow Airport.
September 5, 1988, Boarded the British Airways in Business Class and arrived San Francisco and reached home safely.
This completed my Europe Tour - 42 days - From July 26, 1988 to September 5, 1988 with Kapali, Lynn, Shanti and Shiela.
CAME -- SAW -- CONQUERED.
Next comes my visit to Singapore, Bahamas, Africa ... !!!