Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Day in Steel City

Sheffield, UKSheffield is a city that was central in the production of steel during the industrial revolution.  Its geographic location - near fast-flowing rivers and mineral rich hills - made it a hub of the Western world's iron and steel industry.  Several innovations such as 'crucible steel' and silver plating originated here.  Interestingly, the bowie knife - popular in the American Wild West - was imported in large quantities from the city of Sheffield too!

I took a train from London St. Pancras to Sheffield.  This was more fun than flying.  It had rained more than usual in the northern parts of England causing some flooding in places, but we reached our destination without delay.

Train at St. Pancras Station, London

The modern train I travelled in was a contrast to the other train journey I had recently made from Delhi to Chandigarh.  While by Indian standards, the Shatabdi Express is a pretty comfortable train with decent food and beverages served on-board, this train was - no surprises - of a different class. Quiet, fast and with wifi to boot!

St. Pancras Station in London was a pleasing sight with its historic, semi-circular expanse of roof and raised train platforms.  A very different experience from that of an Indian railway station.

London St. Pancras Station

It was a relief to get a hotel room must larger than the cramped confined of the one I left behind in London.  Looking out of my window I could see rows of old buildings that probably date back to the industrial, glory days of this city. I felt transported back to another time as I gazed at the complicated series of attics, chimneys and roof-top spires outlined against the cloudy, dull skies.

Sheffield UK

We had dinner at Piccolino, a nice Italian restaurant right across our hotel.  The seafood salad, steak and gelato were pretty good.

Steak at Piccolino

Seafood salad at Piccolino

I would have loved to take a look at some of the historic industrial sites and museums of this city but that has to wait for another day.  After day-long meetings, I got back on the train to London.


Renuka said...

amazing story! I wanted to

Sunita Banerji said...

Just bumped into your blog from Indian Bloggers Top Blogs list. The title of your post led me to believe you were writing about Jamshedpur - India's steel city. Lol. This was fantastic. I am a private detective from Mumbai and married to a Bengali who loves to travel but doesnt blog. All the best!

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Shantanu said...

@Renuka: Thanks much.

@Sunita: Thank you for dropping in. Love Jamshedpur; its been a while though.

@Aman: Thanks but no.

Shantanu said...
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