Travel to London - My Vacation Trip
London - Ready to Go Again
Westminster Abbey, London, England - site of the Royal Wedding of William and Kate!
I've been to Europe twice and I want to go again.
Specifically, London, England. I was there in 2007 for about 10 days, and it wasn't nearly long enough!
Yes, that's Westminster Abbey in the photo, where the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was held in April 2011.
I'd go on the open top, double-decker bus tour again in a heartbeat. This tour lets you get on and off the bus as much as you want for one fare, so if you see something you want to visit, you can hop off, then get back on and ride further along the route.
The tour features a sassy guide who makes the site seeing fun. It was brilliant, as they say.
If you've seen the Harry Potter movies, or Masterpiece Contemporary on television, you'll know some of the different words they use in England. For example, clock time. We say, "Nine thirty." They say, "Half nine."
My list for my future visit includes tea at Harrods, Roman London, the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) and Borough Market, the big farmer market on the south side of the Thames.
There is so much to do in London that even lifelong residents have to work at seeing all the sites.
Photos by kimbesa.
Highlights of My Trip
An Exciting Adventure Across the Pond
My trip to England was a highlight overall. It's another country. There's the history. And... being a fan of certain television shows set in England (both historical and contemporary) and authors like Jane Austen and JRR Tolkien, it was great to have the opportunity to set foot in this country.
In addition, there were more enjoyable elements to my trip:
- Taking both the bus and boat tours was a lot of fun, and gave an overview of sights in the city
- Staying at the home of my sister and brother-in-law was very comfortable, and a chance to see home life in London
- Shopping - in department stores for new items, and charity shops for vintage goods
- Eating different foods, like real English fish and chips, and home style dinner in a pub. British food is not as highly regarded as some cuisines, but we found lots of good things to eat
My passport's still good, so I'm ready for another trip!
Tips for Travel to London
Balance the Factors and Have a Wonderful Time
I visited in late February, not the best time of year as far as weather, but great for cheap airfare. Here are my tips for travel to England, any time of year:
- Consider shipping your luggage. It's even more expensive than when I went to take your stuff. Whittle down the list of necessities, and if it works for you, shippers will take your luggage door-to-door
- Get a body pouch for your valuables. Wear your stash of extra cash, your ID and passport. A crowded big city has its share of pickpockets
- Learn the ropes regarding money. Plan to use your ATM card in safe locations to get the best exchange rate. And get enough cash in each visit. Especially if you're shopping in small shops, you'll need to use cash. And study the bills and coins so you know which are which
- Dress for changeable weather. There's a reason the Brits wear a lot of wool. It's warm in cold weather and breathes in warmer weather, which can change several times a day
Some Links to Background on London - The More You Know, The More You'll Want to See
London is a city just bristling with history. The bus tour took us around Trafalgar Square, which features fountains and four of these lion statues.
- Wiki on London
This site will give you an overview of the history of the city and surrounding area. As it has grown over the years, "London" is applied to a very large territory.
- Wiki on Trafalgar Square
The heart of Central London. If you start here and don't go farther, you could spend a lot of time seeing the sites that are on this square and border it.
- Wiki on Boudica
The ancient Queen Boudica of the Britons stood up to the Romans, but was defeated. There's a statue to her and her daughters on the north side of Westminster Bridge, near the Parliament building
- Westminster Abbey Official Site
A beautiful old cathedral in the heart of London. Site of many historic events, royal weddings and Princess Diana's funeral.
Get a good travel guide, and make some plans for your trip. If you have a list of your highest priority sites, you can visit those first, and add others as time permits.
A good balance of touring and exploring make for a more relaxing trip!
My photo shows statue of Boudica, with Parliament building in the background. Location is the north side of Westminster Bridge.
I Thought They Spoke English
Oh Yeah, There's The Slang
Besides maps and guidebooks to help you navigate the geography, there is also the lingo!
The link below will take you to an online resource, Dictionary of Slang, which is one of the best sites I've found to help you understand the differences in terminology. I knew some of these, but ran into some others.
If you learn all the words in this dictionary, you'll be well prepared to understand the Brits, even with their accents.
British vs. American Lingo on Video - Via YouTube
Informative and entertaining!