Oh my goodness,,.what a wonderful time. British keypads are a bit different when you are trying to type. LOL. Yesterday was wonderful. Walk through Hide Park, went off to watch the changing of the guards. …which they really should call ‘how many people can you fit into one square meter’.
May we come in? Fun at Buckingham Palace.
Having fun with the Constables at Buckingham Palace
I met some Constables. I offered one of them a patch for a patch but he didn’t have a police patch…so he gave me his name tape in exchange, then I asked if I could wear his cover …and he let me and laughed. 🙂 We saw the London Tower Bridge, and London Bridge is Falling Down kept repeating in my head. LOL. We walked to Westminster Abbey and it was magnificent. Big Ben is much bigger and even more beautiful and grand than you can imagine. We took a ride on the London Eye. They may try to sell you tickets for the fast track but don’t do it. Regular tickets are much cheaper and even though the line was incredibly long…I barely had time to jump out of line to snap a group photo and jump back in before we were almost at our turn. The cars hold approx 25 people at a time. We spent quite a bit of time on the Underground. I have been on the Metro in New York and this is far more crowded. But everyone in London was very respectful. In fact, London was one of the most respectful places I have been. (I realized how quiet it was when we got to Rome.)
Changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace
View from the London Eye
Al and Mark went to watch Wigan play a “football” game at the pub while Pam and I went shopping. One of my very favorite places was Camden Lock Village markets. So much to see, you can’t begin to drink it all in. I bought Al his favorite team ‘Manchester United’ jersey in LONDON! We met the boys at a pub and had some pints. What a brilliant day. We ended out night on Brick street where we had some wonderful Curry. Then we were out on the town for more fun in Piccadilly Circus.
This trip to London, Rome and Venice is the first major trip I have ever taken… anywhere. I wasn’t sure how to start but I am a researcher at heart so here are some things that I have learned so far.
Tips and Tricks:
Life’s Large Adventures. Having a partner to share your trip with is fun….he can also help with all of your luggage 😀
1. Even if you have a passport..make sure your boyfriend has an up to date passport. 🙂 We knew he had a passport but for international travel it must be valid for 6 months AFTER your expected time of return. We had to send his passport in and get another one. It is scary to send a valid document away when we will need it very soon. The post office was actually really fast and it took less than two weeks.
2. I love looking online for airfare deals!! It is like a challenge for me. I try to figure out what the best time of the week/of the day is to buy tickets, and many times I get good deals. But for this trip of my lifetime….I wondered if I should ask for some help. My boyfriend Al and I went to a small travel agency in Chinatown. It appeared to be in a quite seedy part of town and he was unsure but I was adamant. While I believed that they could never get us a better deal, I figured we could check it out and use them to help us get an idea of what airlines and travel path would be the best. I WAS WRONG!! The man who helped us, Fransisco, was AMAZING. He listened to what I wanted, asked questions, and was able to look up a deal that was hundreds less per ticket! I could not believe it. He sent me an email with two itineraries and hotel suggestions. I then attempted to find those flights and schedules on line and was unable to find them at that price. We went back to the travel agency and bought out tickets. A few days later Francisco sent me an email saying that the hotel in Rome was having a discount (although on non-refundable rooms) and we saved hundreds on our upcoming 8 day stay there. Wow, he was just wonderful. It may not always work out this way for every one/every trip…but it doesn’t hurt to check it out.
3. Plan your trip. I am currently in the process of picking out what places I MUST see. While in London, Al, would love to see Stonehenge. I remember Prince Charles and Princes Diana’s wedding (I was quite young at the time mind you) and want to see Westminster Abbey. I want to go to the local flea market as well. I love deals. 🙂 While doing my research I found that the train from London to Paris (via the Chunnel) is only 2.5 hrs. Unfortunately we will not be able to make Paris this trip. Al has a friend we will be staying with “in the country” the first night. For our other two night we all have a hotel in London proper as they agreed to show us around. So we shall make the Paris trip another time. But it is always good to know what is available.
This is long and you are probably tired of reading so I will write more soon. Have a great day. 🙂