We stopped in London for a day on March 11, 2000, on our way to India from Washington. We spent the day being shown around the city by our dear friend, Alice Northgreaves, who took us on a whirlwind tour by the Tube, London's fabled red double-decker buses, a boat on the Thames, the ultra-modern Dockland Light Railway and by foot, covering everything from observing the change of guards at Buckingham Palace to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich that can be covered in the span of an 18 hour layover.
The following are but a handful of the views that we saw that day, captured on film, that I could lay hold on more than five years later.
Arpita (left) at Dulles Airport, Washington, DC on March 10, 2000, a few hours before we leave for London.
Heathrow Airport Terminal 4, London on March 11, 2000, at the onset of our day out in the city.
Outside Buckingham Palace, after witnessing the Changing of the Foot Guard, which was a rather unspectacular event that day for us, due to the fact that the regiments changing roles wore rather dull gray uniforms instead of the redcoats that epitomize the event.
More shots outside Buckingham Palace.
The Horseguards Parade outside Buckingham Palace.
After witnessing the Foot Guards and the Cavalry of the Queen, we went to have breakfast with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The Princess Royal and Prince Edward were present and the Queen Mother came in, dragging along the Prince of Wales as well. This picture was taken just when the Queen was summoning a Royal Servant to take our coats away. "Good help around the palace is so hard to come by these days", she later confided to us, almost shaking her head in dismay. She could not really shake her head since the meeting was at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum and not at the Buckingham Palace.
Meeting with Brian Lara, Vivian Richards and Alan Border on the left and a private audience with Sir Charles on the right, both at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum.
Views of Westminster. On the left is a view of the Big Ben with the ubiquitous red buses. To the right is the same view with the buses substituted by the travelers (from left to right: Alice, Ashutosh, Meenakshi and Arpita). The center picture is the famous picture postcard view of London taken from across the Westminster Bridge, showing the Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
From here we boarded a boat that took us down the Thames and the many landmark buildings along its banks, from The Tower of London, the Tower Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Globe Theater and the new developments that have sprouted out of the dockyards of the once greatest port in the world.
A view of the baroque buildings of the Old Royal Navy College in Greenwich, taken from the boat on the Thames.
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, the home of the Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian Line.
More views of Greenwich: On the grounds between the Royal Observatory and the Old Royal Navy College.
A view of East End London from the Royal Observatory.
Canary Wharf station where we emerged from the Dockland Light Railway to transfer to the Jubilee Line on the last leg of our trip that would lead us through Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circle, Oxford Street and Regent Street (not necessarily in the right order) before heading back to Heathrow Airport to catch our flight to Delhi.