And it happened…

After going through a number of hassles for a passport and a US visa my trip was finalised. Luck favoured me and I got a chance to visit UK with USA, 2 countries in one trip. wow!!! “Bhangvan ke ghar me der hai andher nahi” :).

Shopping and packing started with gloves, thermals and much more. Finally the day of departure dawned and I called up  all the relatives and friends to say goodbye.

One of my friends was also travelling on same day from the Mumbai airport so we booked the K K Travels shuttle from Pune to the Mumbai airport.

We reached the Mumbai Airport and had dinner at a chinese restaurant. After waiting for an hour, all the formalities were completed and I was finally aboard.  All the flights were British Airways and on time. I was a little nervous because this was my first travel aboard and Amruta was nervous/sad because this was the first time we would away from each other for 3 weeks. 😦

I arrived in UK on sunday. Someone had come to pick me up from the hotel…standing with a sign board with my name :). that felt very nice. I introduced myself to him and as we went towards the parking lot…..Surprise ! a cute Mercedes Benz was waiting for me.

We Started towards High Wycombe. This town is 25 miles away from the Heathrow airport. I got talking with the cab driver. He was Pakistani and we both were happily started talking in hindi.

He told me about the city and the market place. Roads were very nice. One can travel upto 120 Kms/Hr easily. As I am passionate about cars and bikes, I was looking at every car that passed by because all of them were nice.

We reached The Alexander hotel by 10.30 am and i was told to wait till 12 noon as that was their check-in time.  the receptionist told me to take a walk though the city till she could manage something. I dropped my bags there and went for a walk. The weather was nice but very cooool with little showers occasionally, but I felt nice. I decided to buy a  calling card so that I could pass on the message to my wife that I reached England safely.
In the market, many of the shop owners were from Bangladesh and Pakistan and happy to see people from there. After checking in the hotel, I tried to search some places to see around. Some of my friend had told me that US $ will work in England but I found it wasn’t so and that’s why I had to sit in the hotel room because I didn’t have pounds. Next day my colleague came to pick me up to go to the office. the MWH office in High Wycombe is in an old British heritage building, after working there for 6/7 hrs we went to a typical British pub.

The place was very nice and  Tony told me that this was the get together point for all age groups. Round tables and hi-chairs, beer serving counter and cute ladies serving the beer with nice smile. We spent 2 hrs there. After that I had a walk through main road of the city and then back to the hotel.

The second day started with a good breakfast at the hotel. During lunch time we went to a mall and had an egg sandwitch.  Tony helped me to convert my dollars to pounds from the post office, thanks Tony !. I enjoyed walking through the city that evening because the next day i was going to travel
to Denver. All the roads were decorated with colorfull lights for X-mas. All the malls were full of people shopping for the festival and I am lucky I got a discount on my shopping too.
After 2 good days in High wycombe it was
time to leave. Early next morning again the the same guy came to pick me up for the airport. Had small photo session with him and reaching airport we said goodbye to each other.

Heathrow airport is very big and clean. Everything is well organized. People there are very helpfull. I reached almost  2/3 hrs before the flight time, so I walked though the airport. This is terminal 5, this is the 2nd biggest airport  in the world.
Time to check in!  The flight to Denver was almost empty, lot of space to sleep :).
Had lunch and watched 3 movies “Love Aja kal”.
After reaching the Denver Airport, all i saw was a blanket of white. This was  the first time in my life that i had seen snow. All the parked cars and buildings were covered with snow.Reached the Omni hotel and checked in. The room was at 8the floor overlooking the city and the rocky mountains.
The Denver office was well furnished and pleasant. Next day went to malls and down town with a  colleague – Krishna. Visited some  pubs, had dinner. Thanks Krishna for all that!
On Sunday got chance to visit a dream city called  Breckenridge. This is situated in rocky mountains  around 80 miles from Denver. I was with Jim my  manager :),  yes he is a nice guy.
The city was famous for gold mines and has a good market.
The entire city is surrounded  with mountains  covered with snow. Jim took me to the highest point from where we get a bird’s eye view of the city.
I took snaps until my camera batteries ran out. We walked on a frozen lake and the river. it was an amazing experience. I purchased some souvenirs and we headed back to denver.
Jim’s family was calling him as his kids wanted to go for xmas shopping. 🙂
Next day I again went to a mall called flatiron for some more shopping for family and friends.
After spending 2 weeks in Denver I was missing my home, and started packing for my trip back to India.
I had a connecting flight to catch and I was a  little worried because many friends had told me that you need to run to catch the connecting flight and you have to wait really long for the next one if you miss it…. 😦
Thankfully, everything went smooth and my cargo and me were transferred to the Mumbai flight safely. Amruta was waiting for me.  Arrived at Mumbai airport and got range for my Idea phone.
Wow ! I am a foreign return now 🙂


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