It’s pretty much impossible to see London properly in 24 hrs, but I tried to squeeze in what I could while enduring freezing temperatures. Taking the Tube from Heathrow, I started my walk from Piccadilly en route to Westminster. I was surprised to see the massive numbers of holiday shoppers and tourists who didn’t seem to mind an unusually early winter blast. From Westminster Abbey and The Houses of Parliament, I crossed the River Thames at the Waterloo Bridge where on the South Bank side there was a wonderful Christmas market made of little shacks from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and other locations. Crepes and mulled wine was my breakfast of champions as I continued on to Gabriel’s Wharf and The Royal Festival Hall.
After spending the afternoon walking my under-insulated sneakers in and out of various neighborhoods, it was time to seek out a seriously good Indian restaurant, which was found in the Covent Garden area. Mela, off Neal Street, wowed me with spectacular dishes and attentive service. The owner really took care of me, specially preparing a meal-ending Falooda for my rose water fix. Covent Garden and The Strand seemed to be the place to be as hundreds if not thousands of people filled the streets shopping, eating, and enjoying the Christmas markets lining the side streets. One couldn’t help get in the holiday spirit while soaking in the sights of merriment. Next trip, the Tate Modern.