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Published: December 17th 2009
Milton Keynes - refered to as MK by all locals, is a large town in Buckinghamshire, in the south east of England, about 60 miles (97 km) north-west of London. It is also the principal town of the Borough of Milton Keynes; it is also the capital of the Borough of Milton Keynes. -so it says on google. I had to research about the place before I traveled as I'd never heard of it till a friend of mine, Sharon, got a job offer here and I obviously traveled to MK to spend time with her while I was in UK.
MK is the perfect blend of the countryside with its serene peaceful green expanse and modernization with a mind-boggling mix of malls, theatres, pubs and clubs.
I traveled from London to MK via the National Express bus and dozed off on the bus - so I missed out on the entire view while traveling. Thankfully I was refreshed by the time I reached and almost immediately headed off to Willen Lake with Sharon. The lake seems to be a popular spot with most people. Since it was summer, there was light till almost eleven at night and we
The occasional "pet" we saw
observed a lot of people indulging in the water sports; some jogged while others exercised. The lazy ones like us just strolled about munching on sandwiches and chocolate bars.
The cutest thing about this lake is that the moment any duck or swan or geese spot you with food, they all walk towards you - in flocks - for the food! And the moment you close your bag of food or cover it - they walk away in disgust! And they are fairly bold; absolutely no fear in approaching humans and eating out of their hands or bags. We shared a sandwich with them - now we know ducks like turkey and cheese sandwiches - but the chocolate was all for us :-)
I'd never come across anything like this ever in any of my travels. I've known monkeys and dogs to be bold, leaning more towards an aggressive behavior for food. But birds, I've found in my experience, are more subtle. This was so charming that it makes me smile even now when I think of it.
Further around the lake, there is a Buddhist monastery and a Peace Pagoda has been built here by the
Sunset on Willen Lake
Monks and Nuns of the Nipponzan-Myôhôji. Anyone wanting to add a Buddhist touch to your travel, would be advised to visit the place.
Not expected, byt there is loads to do in MK! Its is absolutely a shoppers paradise! There is a mall here called 'The Center', which is one of the largest covered shopping centres in Europe. It has more than 400 shops. Cant be compared to Oxford Street in London, yet the experience is incredible. With all possible brands under one roof and a great mix restaurants and bars, we gladly spend long hours here and came back most days with our hands full of bags. Guess, its the general tendency of the fairer sex to find reasons to pick up stuff that attracts the eye and we were pleased with our daily addition of tops, bags and shoes.
Luckily, since I spend the weekend there, I also had time to experience the MK nightlife. All we did was dress up, take a cab and asked to drop off at Theatre District. The Theatre District has an eclectic mix of clubs and bars and restaurants making it a great place to hang out in, especially on
Walking upto us for food
weekends. And again we had the undue advantage of being "single" women and got passes for all the clubs and bars as we walked past them. Also, most places have a free drink or a free shot if you have the pass. So, without having to pay anywhere for entry in Theatre District, we went to 3 different clubs and bars and only bought a couple of drinks each! Happily high, we left the place in the wee morning hours. The clubs here are crowded with energetic people swaying to loud pulsating music spun by DJs. After a while the noise is deafening and certainly you cant make converstation. Basic stuff like "pass me the tissue box" requires a high pitch yell for the other person to comprehend. But overall, was a good fun nite and we just went with the flow.
The next day we went to the Xscape complex. Apart from having many shops, restaurants and fast food outlets it has a complete indoor sports section. Here you can opt for indoor skiing, snowboarding, indoor sky-diving or rock-climbing. We did none of these ourselves but made very good spectators before heading off to Nandos for tucking in some peri-peri chicken. Any trip without a visit to Nandos seemed incomplete then.
I left MK and went back to London and this time I stayed wide awake so as to capture pictures of large rural farmlands spotted with sheep and cows. The entire district is speckled with picturesque villages and hamlets and the occasional thatched pub. Back home now with pleasant memories; beaming with contentedness when I think back of the experience.
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