Solo Travel – 1993

Hey there! I’m taking you back to 1993…Yeah it sounds like eons ago! Well, I will share in this space as much as I can remember from back then.

So, I can’t remember exactly when in 1993, but, the need to get away, to pack my bags and leave was so strong. This need got me going through the newspaper in search of advertisements placed by travel agents who were promoting their travel packages. There was no hesitancy on my part to travel thousands of miles on my own. The country I chose to travel to, was United Kingdom, a country I had never been to before then.

This trip however, was not going to be my first travel abroad. My first was when I had travelled with my cousin, years earlier, to Switzerland, and where we had to transit in Moscow. The airline we flew was Aeroflot. We were required to spend one night in Moscow, and that was an interesting experience.

Now, coming back to 1993, while preparing for my trip to England, I was also excited for my solo adventure. My itinerary included visiting my childhood friend in Cambridge, who was studying at Cambridge University.

LONDON

Fast forward, it was in the late evening in September when I arrived in London. At the airport, I had boarded a taxi to St Giles Hotel where I was booked at to stay. I favoured this hotel because it was close to Oxford Street. On getting out of the taxi at the hotel, I did not have change to tip the driver, so I did not tip him. So we had an exchange of awkward glances between us. (My first awkward moment felt in London. When I look back at this scenario, I chuckle!). So I quickly got my luggage out and headed into the hotel to check in.

Taken from my room at St Giles

I had passed my first and second steps i.e. purchased my flight ticket, boarded the flight and arrived in London. The next step was to conquer my fears and explore London the next day. So, out I went to discover her on foot. I was so excited, I wanted to be in every photo. LOL. I came across some nice people who were happy to snap a shot for me using my camera.

Me!
The London Bus caught my attention šŸ™‚
At a street off Oxford Street
At Oxford Street
At Regent Street & Oxford Street

I found out about all the popular department stores, and popped into Selfridges, Harrods and a few others. I was in complete awe when I walked into Harrods and wandered around the department store. Can’t seem to find any photos of Harrods. I may not have taken any I guess. I am sure many of you know what Harrods looks like on the inside!

Selfridges department store (building on the left) on Oxford Street
MGM on Oxford Street
The British Museum
The London Planetarium and Madam Tussaud’s in the background. Was impressed with Madam Tussaud’s

While in London, I purchased the River Thames Boat Cruise ticket and on that cruise I managed to capture a few of London’s landmarks (including a few of its many bridges which are its landmarks too) that can be seen from along the river. The cruise starts from the Greenwich Pier. Here are some photos taken.

On the boat leaving Greenwich Pier
On the boat, sitting pretty for the camera…lol. All set for the cruise!
View of Tower Bridge
A view of Big Ben, Houses of Parliament & The Palace of Westminster
A close up shot of Palace of Westminster
HMS Belfast – a museum ship
The Tower of London
On the left of this photo – Cleopatra’s Needle – an Egyptian obelisk
In the background – The Dome at St Paul’s Cathedral
Close-up of one of the towers at Tower Bridge
The Towers!
Greenwich Pier – passengers returning after the cruise

The cruise ended, back at Greenwich Pier. I then explored rest of London on foot. Here are some of the spots.

Sitting at the fountain with a sculpture of Girl with a Dolphin overlooking River Thames
Walking on Tower Bridge
In the background – Nelson’s Column at Trafalgar Square
Another pic closer to the Square
Close-up shot of Big Ben
Near 10 Downing Street & The Cabinet War Rooms.
Me, posing!

I was excited to visit more of England, and here are some of the cities I explored.

BOWNESS-ON-WINDERMERE – AT LAKE DISTRICT

Some photos taken at quaint Bowness-on-Windermere, situated at Lake District, where I did not stay over for the night, but spent the day here.

Arriving at Bowness-on-Windermere, Lake District

Photos below taken at Lake Windemere.

Photos below were taken while walking around the quaint town.

Posing at Windermere town

Though it was just a day trip at Bowness-on-Windermere, I had a wonderful time in this quaint town.

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON (SUA)

I had read up about quaint Stratford-upon-Avon, and it being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. I had to include it in my list of must see places.

I remember, it was raining as I was getting off the bus at SUA. I started walking towards the Tourist Information Centre in search of accommodation, and found what I was looking for. I ended up here (pic below), at Nando’s, a Bed & Breakfast at Evesham Place. On arriving at the B&B, I was happy and comfortable with my choice.

My accommodation – B&B at Evesham Place, Stratford-upon-Avon

Below are some photos taken at SUA, which is also the location of Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Shakespeare’s Centre.

One of the attractions here is River Avon. I strolled along the banks of the river, taking in the spectacular views. People were feeding the swans, people on boat cruises on the river and others just enjoying the views. You could spend the whole day here just relaxing, taking in the ambience. Some photos here.

The photo below is of a crowd of people watching an entertainer walking on a rope at the recreation park close by.

At the recreation park
Posing in front of the B&B at SUA . All set to leave for Cambridge

On the last morning at SUA, I had to take that photo, standing in front of the B&B. I totally loved this quaint town and enjoyed every minute spent here. It was time to move on to my next destination, Cambridge.

Passing through Coventry. Photo taken from bus, heading to Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE

And, I have arrived at Cambridge City

I was excited to meet my friend Ammu. I stayed with her and her friend Helen at her home. I enjoyed my stay in Cambridge, and after a few days here, we were on a road trip.

CHEDDAR, SOMERSET

We visited Cheddar by car with a couple of Ammu and Helen’s friends. Cheddar Gorge and Caves is located near the village of Cheddar. Here are some photos from our visit to the caves.

WOOKEY HOLE, SOMERSET

Here are some photos taken at Wookey Hole.

At the Magical Mirror Maze.
At the Wookey Hole Paper Mill

BATH, SOMERSET

It was already late getting into City of Bath. I wanted so much to visit the Roman Baths, but unfortunately it was already closed. Somehow I managed to only snap a photo of this statue.

One of the statues at the Roman Baths

BRISTOL

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol in the background

We returned to Cambridge after our road trip. After a couple of days here I wanted to visit Edinburgh, Scotland. I remember Ammu and Helen were quite concerned that I was going to travel to Edinburgh on my own, by bus. I convinced them that I will be fine. They were so sweet, they made me sandwiches and drinks for my road trip.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

So my road trip to Edinburgh was really long. I eventually arrived sometime late in the evening, and it had already gotten dark. I found my way to the Tourist Information Centre, to find out about accommodation. I was told that there was a huge conference that was taking place, and that most of the hotels and other accommodations were fully booked. I was stumped when I heard this. Eventually the Centre managed to locate accommodation for me. It was an accommodation with shared facilities. I thought to myself something is better than none. So, off I went, to board one of the city buses to get there. I can’t seem to locate any of the photos taken in the city. I spent 2 days in Edinburgh before returning to Cambridge. I would love to visit Edinburgh again…lol.

Ammu & I outside Helen’s home, in Cambridge, on the day I was returning to London

I returned to London, after spending a day in Cambridge. I stayed in London for 2 more days before returning home.

To sum up, I enjoyed every moment of my adventure. Travelling solo was a learning experience. I enjoyed my time spent with Ammu and her friends too. Returning home, I was elated that I had made this trip.

Years later I had again travelled solo. I would not hesitate to do it again.

Cheers, Happy Sunday and have a great week ahead!

6 thoughts on “Solo Travel – 1993”

  1. Awesome Jaya! This is almost 30 years ago. The details you remembered of your trip was amazing. Brave and adventurous lady you are šŸ˜Š
    I truly enjoyed reading on your journey. Maybe we should think of making a trip around Peninsula šŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you look so different then.
    Your memories are great & each detail is appreciated. Well didn’t know that you are so brave as to go places when you have yet to book accommodation. Cheers.
    Enjoy your writing. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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