Written on June 18, 2020,
UPDATED ON 21.06.2022.
Immediately after I got retired on 31st October 2019, all my friends told me to go someplace with my family and get a real breather. My life had become so hectic during my last phase of service that hardly I could give some time to my family. It was only after a week I used to reach back home from the tour and immediately start preparing for the next tour from the first working day of the subsequent week itself. Since the areas were quite huge ones to be covered and the nature of a field job being the one where one has to be on his toes always-Yes, I realized after my retirement that I was doing too much and genuinely my attention towards the home was minimal.
Finally, the whole family went to our daughter’s place-“Lille”, where she was doing her studies in France and we got the preparations for the whole Europe Tour, getting even a separate visa for the UK as well. We decided that we would celebrate the new year in Britain and after that only we would return to our place.
We started on the 22nd of Dec’2019 and went to Paris direct via Moscow after reaching Paris and stayed there for a couple of days. The place was really exquisite and there was not that much rush of people or crowds, as we find here in Delhi or in other parts of India. Our daughter joined us in Paris after coming from Lille-which is in the North of Paris-her place of study.
|Eiffel Tower from a distance|
|In the market in Paris|
We really went to all the popular places in Paris including the wonder-“Eiffel tower”-where we spent quite some time. I still remember in the evening on that day when we were at Tower, it started raining heavily and all of us really braved it out and saw the whole show happening there with the glittering “light show” of the Tower, which is the attraction for the tourists.
|“The Arc de Triomphe” -Paris-France.|
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris, “the Arc de Triomphe” was constructed in 1806 to memorialize the triumphal battles of Napoleon Bonaparte. We really liked that very much as it stood tall at the end of the main market road giving a very pleasing and articulate look to the whole terrain:-
|FAMILY IN THE CHRISTMAS MARKET.|
We walked down the major market and enjoyed the crowd there. Also went to various popular malls and did a bit of purchasing as well.
|VIEW OF MADRID|
|Hotel-“Novotel Madrid Centre”- Madrid.|
The next day we were booked for Barcelona by train and went to that place and from there went to Madrid again by train the same night. The travel was very hectic and tightly scheduled. Remained for the night at Madrid- again a beautiful place with immaculate and innovative structures surrounding the rightful and wide roads.
Traffic moving very smoothly and even more silently. One thing which I observed was the “no-noise” atmosphere. Even if we had to cross the roads, the cars coming from either side would stop suddenly, allowing the pedestrians to cross over. This sense is still not prevailing in our bigger cities and we have to take risks while crossing the big roads or even the crossings here in India.
Madrid is the capital of the country- Spain-was really looking to be one of its kind. We went in the evening for dinner there and got the superb stuff for the eating-especially our children really liked the non-veg-stuff ordered. Madrid, we realized -we should have planned one more day since we could not see the city area details-particularly the market.
|Hotel ” Holiday-Inn”-Barcelona.|
While coming back from Madrid we stayed for the night at “Holiday-Inn” in Barcelona-again a very serene and beautiful place-here we could stay again for a few hours the next day and go in the evening the next day via Brussels to Frankfurt.
Even on our way back- the “Brussels Railway station” was very advanced and attractive.
|Hotel “Tokyo Inn”-Frankfurt.|
After reaching Frankfurt-which was the best place according to all of us and the enormous buildings and the advancement seen inside the malls and the hotels were amazing. We went here in search of an Indian hotel where the Indian food was being served and was very popular. The name of the place was “garam masala”. We really liked the ambiance and even the stuff which we got there. It was after so many days we were taking the Indian stuff and it was very delicious too.
|Images of Frankfurt during the day’s visit.|
The beauty of this restaurant was -the affectionate approach of the owner who used to go to every table and ask for the service and even responded to the stuff served. We really liked his behavior and remained there in the restaurant for a couple of hours. There was a complete houseful in the restaurant and all were the English people relishing the Indian stuff. During the night, we walked down the big streets of Frankfurt to our hotel-“Tokyo-Inn” which was quite some distance, and really enjoyed it a lot.
The next day went back to Paris and had to curtail our plan since there was a railway strike going on in France. From Paris in the night itself after reaching there, went to Lille by car and reached late in the night to Lille. Checked in the hotel there-“Hotel-B&B”.
|Hotel B&B at Lille-France.|
Remained there for a couple of days since we were curious to see the University and my daughter’s college-“ISA”-went there and saw all those places. Liked the place-Lille, the most, because of the peace prevailing there and the serene atmosphere around.
|Images of Lille during market visit.|
Went to the leading malls of the place and also the Christmas Fair and enjoyed the photo session there in the fair-Finally on the second last day of 2019, we boarded the bus for the UK. My daughter did not come and remained at her place itself. I remember it took around 6 hours for us to reach London-passing under a tunnel in the sea as well-which we could not make out while traveling during the night. A historical thing for us-while spending that time under the sea.
|Hotel “Holiday-Inn”-in London.|
Reaching London was a smooth journey from Lille and we could not feel any tiredness. In London, we could realize Asians, especially from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh- are very much there. We were there in the “Holiday Inn” again and remained there only for one day and for new year’s eve. We were booked in the hotel near our Heathrow Airport itself.
|Images were taken during my London stay.|
We went to one temple of Hare-Krishna and in the temple, and we remained there for a couple of hours and saw the local English persons doing the “aarti” and dancing in the temple for “Radhe-Krishna”. It was a memorable scene. One very important observation was that almost all the cabs which we boarded were being driven by Asian drivers, mainly the Sikhs, Muslims, and only a few English people.
|The picture is at the backdrop of the River Thames.|
Finally on the penultimate day of 2019, went to a hotel near the airport and on the eve of the new year, went to the main market in Heathrow-where some shopping was done and the last dinner of 2019 was taken with the family there. Again, a moment was captured in the camera for the time to see in the future and relish the occasion.