I really liked the boat ride I took on Thames on the trip to UK. We all know the pound to rupee exchange rate. You have to give more than 80 rupees to get even one of those pounds. So, spending was not what I was looking forward to in the UK. But then we both have been earning for quite sometime and now I have come to the stage that if I wish, I will really not bother myself over spending in the vicinity of 10 pounds. That is approximately what a boat ride on the Thames cost me (I think it was 6.70 or 7.60 pounds actually).
I took the boat ride from Westminster to the Tower Bridge and back. I decided to come back because I did not wish to negotiate my way from Tower Bridge Underground to Victoria station (remember my sense of direction?).
It definitely was cold that day but not unbearably so. I had no clue what to expect. The night view was great and I was trying very hard to use the SLR on the moving boat (without too much success). The people navigating the boat were the best thing to happen on this ride.
On the ride to the Tower Bridge, the person started (and these are not the exact quotes but paraphrases from memory), “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are not professional tour guides, we work with Thames river authority. Still, if you wish we can offer you a commentary, so those in favor of it please raise your hand.” I was quite busy with the camera, so didn’t raise my hand. Then came the voice “So, only three to four hands are up, maybe we should not.” Hearing this I raised both my hands.
I do not remember all of what they said but some of it was really witty and caustic. Like one of the first things that you can see on this trip is the London eye. So they would say, “Ladies and gentleman, on your right is the British Airways London Eye sore (in a dead serious voice) and if you have not been taken for a ride by the BA till date this your chance to be taken for a ride.”
In a similar fashion they would make fun of so many things modern. The bluish building above apparently was referred as a ‘blue carbuncle’ by someone (did they say Tony Blair?). Our boatman rightly likened it to the pit of a nuclear reactor (OK, OK, I have not seen the pit of a nuclear reactor but I like his analogy better). The things that got a favorable word were monuments like Saint Paul Cathedral or Tower of London.
I remember I changed my position once on the moving boat to try and click a better picture on the other side. I must say the person at the helm had his eyes all they way on me till I settled down again. No, I did no fancy a dip at night in Thames in that cold weather. Still, I was thankful for the concern.
On the way back I heard the same stories again but then I still liked them! Also, this was my last day in UK and I was wondering if it would be four years again till I go abroad? Before this I was in Italy four years back and now that I write this, I realize I have blogged very little about it.