Day One: London and Windsor

I’m back! After three weeks in England, France and Turkey, I’ve spent the past week catching up and recovering from an unfortunate bout with pneumonia. (Note to travellers: Don’t ignore that cold.) I have lots of stories, so let’s just jump into things, shall we? (Plus, I have recipe updates I’ve been meaning to write up since, oh, January, and I need to get those too!)

My family and I arrived in London’s Heathrow Airport on a Saturday evening after our long transatlantic flight, marking the first and only time I’ve ever wished I was an East Coaster. I associate Heathrow with long stopovers on the way to Tehran, but this time we were picked up by Mom’s cousin and her husband (the most gracious hosts ever), where we were to stay at their house in Woking for the next few days.

The next morning, we set out to explore London. Woking is only half an hour by rail to London’s Waterloo station, so getting into the city was an easy task, and navigating the Underground was even easier.

Our first stop was the British Museum, which uh, is sort of really impressive, and stuff:

The British Museum

The museum’s ancient Near East and Islamic Middle East galleries are incredibly extensive, with more attention devoted to these cultures than anything I’d seen in the U.S. (Okay, so the Freer and Sackler Galleries at the Smithsonian come really close.)

Persian painting, miniature style

That’s my peoples.

The Ancient Iran gallery houses none other than the Cyrus Cylinder, the first human rights charter:

The Cyrus Cylinder

Persepolis relief

Oh hai. I’m in your territories, biting your bottoms.

Afterwards we took the train towards Tower Bridge, where we had lunch at Cafe Rouge before exploring the pier. I had the salmon croquettes with salad, french fries and lime mayonnaise:

Salmon croquettes with salad, french fries and lime mayonnaise

It was a little bland, but who can say no to deep-fried fishy goodness and french fries chips?

Tower Bridge

Later that evening, we drove to Windsor for dinner at Nandos, a restaurant specializing in really, really spicy chicken. You know, the kind where your lips go numb and an hour later you’re sipping hot tea with nabat wishing your stomach ache would subside. I had the chicken wings with Peri Peri sauce, spicy rice and corn on the cob. The chicken and corn hit the spot but the rice was undercooked:

Chicken wings with Peri Peri sauce, spicy rice and corn on the cob

After finishing up, we took a short walk around town and Windsor Castle:

Windsor Castle

Windsor seemed like a charming town, but we didn’t stay long since the drive back to Woking was almost an hour long and we were tired from jet lag and sightseeing. I’d spent the last several months planning this trip, and you know what? Not bad at all for our first day in England.

4 thoughts on “Day One: London and Windsor”

  1. It was the same in Paris. On the positive side, at least they’re being properly preserved. :\

  2. i wish you'd gone to the V&A. it has a WAY better islamic art section than the british museum (i think the BM is actually quite poor in that department), and it has a lot of beautiful stuff from iran.

    also, the british library has some amazing old qur'ans on display.

    i probably should have made some recommendations for you. :/

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