Sunday, May 10, 2015

Returned from London Trip

Some personal issues prevented me from updating this blog since the last fortnight. For this, please excuse me. I had originally planned something else, but, in the end, prudence wins and I have decided to return to KSA to complete my contract for the fourth and final year of work. I fly back on the 15th of this month. Hopefully, I should arrive there by noon local time. I would visit the health directorate on the following seventeenth, explain why I was returning late, and then proceed to Al Muwayh to resume my duties. 

London was simply unbelievable. The conference itself was miles ahead of anything I have experienced in India. They had a grand venue, the East end of ExCel London. There was a very large central auditorium with a capacity of over a thousand delegates; this is where they had all the plenary meets and the chief or invited speakers. ExCel itself is a large venue with a long building that connects the East end with its West end. Each end is served by a station on Dock Line Railway (the driver-less railway or DRL); while Customs House serves its west end, Prince Regent station serves its east one. 

My trip to London was a contest win for me from the British Medical Journal, and my travel from Mumbai and back, my stay and my conference fees had already been paid for by the BMJ. I was lodged in a TraveLodge hotel that has opened a very short sub-1 km distance away from the conference venue. 

While attending the conference, I was occupied also with networking with other doctors, visiting the different stalls at the exhibition, picking up tips on good practice in the field of quality management and patient safety, enjoying the dry British food on offer (packed lunch usually) and also going out in the evenings and for the full day on the last day of the conference to do local sight-seeing. I visited various attractions including the London Eye, the London Dungeons, the British Museum (a very small portion, as not much time was available to me), the Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum, London Cruise on the Thames, London viewing by night from a bus (it takes you on a tour through all the important landmarks in Central London), and an outer viewing of the Buckingham Palace, Westminster Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Royal Albert Theater, Shakespeare Globe Theater, the Shard, etc. My official tour was to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children on the 21st of April and it was a great experience.

On the whole, I had a very fulfilling trip.

No comments: