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  • Suhashini L

Day 238 - Exploring London: A Memorable Trip with Malaysian Friends in UK

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

Day 238 (27 Aug 2023) -London, England, UK


 

DAY 238 (27 AUG 2023) – I spent the afternoon exploring London with Shariman and his friend Hamzah, who is also a fellow Malaysian living in London. We visited the Regent’s Park Mosque, also known as the London Central Mosque & Islamic Cultural Centre.


This mosque with a golden dome was built in 1977 and the Islamic Cultural Centre was officially opened by King George VI in 1944. The place seemed to be busy with visitors. Since Hamzah works as a volunteer there, I parked my motorbike inside the mosque compound.


The three of us then hopped in Shariman’s car and headed to Camden Town. We explored the busy streets of this town, including the famous Camden Market.


Shariman treated me to “Nasi Padang” and “kuih” (Malay traditional cake) for lunch, at the Pino’s Warung, an Indonesian restaurant.


We also briefly walked along London’s historic Regent’s Canal that was built in the early 19th century. At Camden, It was interesting to see a lock-keeper manually operate a canal lock, allowing the water to be raised or lowered accordingly for the waterbus to pass through the canal.


In the evening, we had some tea, “goreng pisang” and “cekodok” (fried banana fritters) at a Malaysian restaurant known as “wok box”. The owner is a Malaysian from Tuaran (near Kota Kinabalu), Sabah and he has been staying in UK for the last 44 years.


After tea, Shariman dropped me off at the mosque to collect my motorbike. I thanked him and Hamzah for their company and kind hospitality. It was nice catching up with a friend after so long.


I then rode my motorbike to the Highgate Hill Murugan Temple for prayers and to seek blessings. I have visited this temple before about 17 years ago with my wife.



The Highgate Hill Murugan Temple opened in 1979 and is the first Hindu temple to be visited by the British Monarch in the British history. Back in 2002, the late Queen Elizabeth II had visited the temple in her first major engagement after the “Golden Jubilee” celebration.

Her Majesty was accompanied by Prince Philip where they spent about 45 minutes at the temple and a “Special Pooja of blessings” was performed during the visit.



From the temple, I headed to the city and visited the iconic Tower Bridge, a landmark that has become the symbol of London it is today. Since the bridge was under repair, vehicles were not allowed in, but I managed to take some pictures as close to the bridge as possible.


This amazing historical structure, built between 1886 and 1894, was originally designed as a movable suspension bridge, and works the same till today. Its Neo-Gothic design was chosen to blend with the Tower of London, as requested by Queen Victoria at that time.


It was built over the River Thames to ease road traffic while maintaining river access to the busy pool of London docks. It also has a walkway for pedestrians and access is free (except when there is a bridge lift to allow larger boats on the River Thames to go by).


Many people refer to the Tower Bridge as the London Bridge when in fact, they are both 2 different structures, but are located just over half a mile (approx. 1km) of each other.


Before heading back to the hostel, I decided to have some Turkish food at a Turkish restaurant nearby. The food was delicious.





 

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