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Thread: The big unforumzed TRAVEL thread.

  1. #1051
    Alt Universe CliqueMember Spikey's Avatar
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    Be sure to send me a pic - never seen it myself. Seen so little of the UK, really, must book a trip and get over that fear of driving on the wrong side (the RIGHT side, the Brits in southern France always correct me with).
    "Replies are a combination of nonsense, unrelated comments and inside jokes"‎

  2. #1052
    Strangerer Rum 509's Avatar
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    I'm going to Europe for the very first time next week. First stop, London. Yes, that London, London Bridge is probably the safest place to be right now, but I'm not sure what we're going to see. I'm going with a more experienced traveler, all I know is that we're staying in Chelsea for a couple of days. And then, off to Paris. My companion speaks French, I'm trying to learn a little but so far all I've learned is "orange" and "pomme." Not very useful. We will no doubt see a few touristy attractions but I'd just as soon go to places less well known and avoid crowds. The Paris galeries look interesting, and then I don't know what else. Bon voyage!

  3. #1053
    'If you existed, I'd divorce you.' spyk_'s Avatar
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    I know it isn't what SkyNews and Fox would have anyone think at the moment, but I promise you that London is so safe for a city of its size. If there is a crime wave hitting here, then it's the trend of motorbikes mounting pavements and snatching people's smart phones out of their hands. And that isn't even anything to stress about, but there have been loads near major crossings like Waterloo and King's Cross, so keep your phone in your pocket when crossing the road. Islamic terrorism, not so much. Chelsea is beautiful and also super posh now; the whole area smells like rosewater. Being a posh area there are lots of fancy places to eat. You're also very close to town there and I'm sure you'll get loads in. Are you getting to Paris via Eurostar? I did it for the first time last year and had a great time (but then I'm unnervingly excited by trains so).

  4. #1054
    Strangerer Rum 509's Avatar
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    Thank you! I'm not too worried, London is no doubt more civilized than New York. Of course, I've never been to New York either.

    Fortunately, my phone stays in my pocket almost all of the time, and in London, who am I going to call while walking around? My GF if we get separated, that's the only thing I can think of. The Eurostar came up and I'm all for it, how far in advance to you need to get tix? Chelsea sounds wonderful, there are a few landmarks I'd like to see in London (many more outside the city) but mostly I'm looking forward to taking walks and seeing the city. And relaxing. That's big.

  5. #1055
    'If you existed, I'd divorce you.' spyk_'s Avatar
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    I think the Eurostar is like a flight in terms of tickets, you can book pretty late but it gets much more expensive. I booked mine on New Year's Day for mid-Feb travel, as there was a deal of £29 tickets each way.

    London is a fantastic city for walking. I don't often appreciate this until I visit other places, but everything is relatively close together. If you're in Chelsea then you're only a 20 minute walk from the centre of town, and all the landmarks are pretty much bunched together within about a square mile. I hope you manage to fit in everything you want to do!

  6. #1056
    Administrator Ryan's Avatar
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    We thought about the Eurostar last minute and checked tickets -- they were like £150 - 200! We decided it wasn't worth it because we only would have spent the day in Paris and that's not enough time to appreciate anything. Maybe some other time.

    You'll definitely walk a lot compared to the US but it's only a problem if you have physical limitations. We didn't mind it because there's so much to see. If you get tired you can stop for a coffee or a pint, or even an ice cream. It's everywhere. :P

  7. #1057
    'If you existed, I'd divorce you.' spyk_'s Avatar
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    Yeah, I walk pretty much everywhere if I have enough time. I think the Tube map gives the illusion that things are further from each other than they actually are, particularly in Zone 1.

  8. #1058
    Strangerer Rum 509's Avatar
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    Yes, you're right. Tix prices don't start to drop until the end of July, we would be going to Paris in about 6 days from today and I think it's about $100 per person. I can't double check this as the site is suddenly not working. :P So that might be worth it, if only because TRAIN!! I'll have to look into alternatives too.

    We're up for walking, the last trip we took we walked everywhere, we didn't have a car, nor did we take public transportation. There's a few landmarks I'd like to see, but I don't care for crowds much. I have no desire to drive in London, because traffic + other side of the street. We'll probably take cabs when we need to.

    ETA: No, it's $200 per person, even though I said it was for 2 people. And it's still not working quite right, I had to ask for a reservation in July and then back the date up. So still looking, thanks for you help!

    ETAMore: It's working again and the price is $144. Rather than adding more "more," I'll just let you know how it worked out.

  9. #1059
    sing to the moon dAmION's Avatar
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    On the road back from a road trip up to Mendecino County in Northern California. Always love that area. Forest abounds.

  10. #1060
    Strangerer Rum 509's Avatar
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    Greetings from London! It's Wednesday or Thursday depending on whether in my mind I'm at home in California, or in England. I was very confused at customs when they asked about our stay, I wasn't sure what day it was. But the official was very friendly and laughed at my jokes so I wasn't promptly deported. There's still time.

    A couple of things you should know about flying to England on WOW airlines with a stop in Reykjavik.
    #1: The stewardesses all wear donut buns, except one or two that don't. They have other buns, I thought this might have something to do with rank, but at 4am without sleep, I could have thought anything. They were all very blonde too, which was kind of eerie. The stewards didn't have buns, but I was preoccupied trying to figure out if those donut bun things were pinned on or WHAT. They look like this:

    only neater and blonder. A real monotone blonde. But then again, it was 4am and:
    #2: The sun comes up at 2am when flying over some sub arctic desolation. Yeah, catch a few winks! Ha! Worse, other cabin members on our row had their windows open (IT'S JUST BRIGHT WHITE OUTSIDE), were playing video games, or then the fellow sitting next to us with a bare bulb flashlight, reading and writing like some zombie literature nerdyman for about 7 hours until he finally shut down and stared into space. That's when I finally got a little sleep. I took a walk forward in the plane at one point, and ALL the windows were closed up there, and NOBODY was playing video games and EVERYBODY was asleep. Hanging in the aisles asleep. I could have found a lap.

    So, after about 20 hours in two planes, two autos and one train, we arrived! Starving! And all the restaurants within walking distance were closed. Fortunately, London has Dominos pizza, which is every bit as good as it is in America.

    And today, we had our first full day in London. We have rented a flat in the Embankment Gardens, across the river from the Chinese pagoda. It is actually pretty posh, if all the Ferraris and Aston Martins are any indication. We ate at a nice pub and walked up the Thames as far as Parliament and all those grand buildings that I had to take pictures of even though it's been done better before. And we were exhausted. Probably jet lag, because it wasn't that far but...

    I'm now sure that I wouldn't want to take on right hand street driving for the first time in London, even in the residential areas people drive fast AND there are so many more 2 wheeled vehicles than what I'm used to. They're harder to see. I didn't even deal with it very well as a PEDESTRIAN. And my companion can be impulsive, "All clear! Come on!" I was almost run down by two bicyclists, one scooter and one van. TODAY. Although really, I DO look both ways before crossing, unless following a trusted, if impulsive companion, but most of my concentration is looking left for cars, not right for cars, buses, motorcycles, scooters or bicycles all traveling much faster in relatively narrow streets. Somebody in the van yelled at me "ROAD!!!" or something, at least he wasn't cursing, and of course I knew about the road since I had just gone airborne leaping off it. I feel sorry for the bicyclists. The guy on the scooter actually smiled.

    Which is the way the people have been, no one has killed me, and the people I've talked to have been very nice, even when I couldn't really understand what they were saying. Having a lovely time. Tomorrow, shopping. The next day, Paris. Here's a postcard.


  11. #1061
    Let them eat cheese flan Nancy's Avatar
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    Have fun, Dale!

  12. #1062
    and it sounds like all our lives Kari's Avatar
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    omg when I went to London (a thousand years ago...) I kept almost getting hit by cars because I was trained to look left.

  13. #1063
    Administrator Ryan's Avatar
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    ^ Yeah that was rough for me too. My Airbnb was at the corner of an intersection and I had to cross the street every morning to get to the tube. I almost got ran over EVERY. DAY.

    But on the other hand, I rented a car in Cardiff and drove all the way across the country to Southwold in a single day, with a stop at Gatwick, and it was super easy. If you can drive on American interstates you can drive in the UK. The weird part isn't driving on the other side, which you get used to pretty quickly. It's the steering wheel being on the right. Renting an automatic versus a manual will help. And get a small car if possible because IMO the UK does drive a lot faster than we do on small, narrow roads and my travel companion was pissing his pants every time someone zoomed past us while driving on little country roads.

  14. #1064
    Alt Universe CliqueMember Spikey's Avatar
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    My first day in London I kept colliding with other pedestrians. Cripes, everyone seemed in a constant hurry or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
    the UK does drive a lot faster than we do on small, narrow roads and my travel companion was pissing his pants every time someone zoomed past us while driving on little country roads.
    From what I experienced; speed levels are way more acceptable and better maintained in the States than in Europe. For example in the Sierra Nevada when I compare it to french Alpine or Pyrenean backroads; those people there drive so dangerously it is almost seems psychotic. Scares the living bee-gees out of me on at least once a day when I'm there. Now I don't drive slow at all, not even in the mountains, but locals will sometimes still troll me by sticking to my bumper, honking, putting on large lights until I either stop at the side of the road to let them pass or drive myself down a cliff. Wtf nice way to treat tourists.
    "Replies are a combination of nonsense, unrelated comments and inside jokes"‎

  15. #1065
    'If you existed, I'd divorce you.' spyk_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikey View Post
    My first day in London I kept colliding with other pedestrians. Cripes, everyone seemed in a constant hurry or something.
    Yes well don't you know we have a 4pm appointment and then a breakout session before a brainstorming session and then after work drinks and then Pilates and OH GOD WHY ARE MY EYES BLEEDING.

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