Tuesday, October 11, 2011

“London 2010 – 101”…Blog.

 “London 2010 – 101”…Blog.

 How about a… Trip to London, UK…? I live in Florida and my airport is Tampa International Airport, in Tampa Florida. I will use my experience from my 5-trips to London and share some things that will make your trip a little easier. I generally go the end of November; Thanksgiving week.

First you are going to need a… “Valid US Passport!” Special Note: If your passport will expire within… ‘30-days’… airline regulations will not allow you to travel to the “UK”. You will ‘not’ need a visa to travel there. You will ‘not’ need any shots either; and the language should ‘not’ be a barrier either. …LOL!

“Planning and Flexibility”… are the ‘KEYS’! “I Love LONDON!” The UK was the pattern for the USA. But they now have more people attending Mosques than Churches; we are ‘not’ far behind their Spiritual downslide. Saudi Arabia is spending over ‘10-million’ and are building a Mosque; right across the street from the “London 2012 ‘Olympic’ Stadium!” They will surely take the opportunity to… “Spread Islam!”

“Christ Jesus = or = ‘Jesus (pbuh)’ – 101”…Blog. [1/5]

May I share with you… “How to Go To LONDON?” First, you cannot drive from the USA; and you ‘must’ take a plane or a boat!  [Joke] Even though I no longer travel for business; I still maintain my FF-accounts. “Frequent Flyer” accounts are available for all airlines; ‘On Line’ where you may also book flights and even print out your ‘e-tickets’ from you home computer. One advantage is that one may be able to get an Upgrade… at a lower price than the public.

When you sign up… for a FF account you may also sign up for the ‘deals.’ I still get weekly email deals about trips. Some time ago, I went to Puerto Rico for $200 round trip. My first trip to London was $350 with stops and my last was a direct flight from Tampa to London for $749.

What about the “Money?” The BPS [British Pound Sterling] or ‘Quid’ is about equal to $1.75 USD! I always have ‘coins & paper’ money; when I go and come back. Any bank in the USA can get you the BPS prior to your leaving. I generally convert about $500 USD… about… “320-L”… in British Pounds Sterling! Any ATM Card can dispense BPS from any bank there in London; should You need more. I use it if I need more! Generally that is enough for a week if you are frugal! Oh yes, most places even take the Euro. All vendors take most any Credit or Debit Cards.

Ok make plans in advance… with your Income Tax Refund… and or some savings. Do all your homework on the internet as I will give you some links. I take a Digital Still Camera and a ‘Cam-Corded’ and as I ride the city buses I photograph: “Everything!” Don’t worry about batteries as you may purchase them there without any problem.

Of course… you can shop on your own for the many travel sites. Sometimes they have better bargains than the Airlines! Shop till you find the “Right Price”. ‘Shop Early’ and shop ‘Often’. IF you are flexible on your travel, you may get some ‘real deals!’ When I go, I fly from Tampa Florida to GATWICK UK. But you may also use Heathrow UK airport.

There is a… train station right at the airport. You will arrive at the ‘North Terminal’ and will have to take the Free Tram to the ‘South One’ for the London train. I take the regular one… ‘Not the Express’; to Victoria Station! It takes less than an half hour and costs about $8 USD. “IF” you prefer, you may buy a round trip ticket; for your trip back to Gatwick from Victoria Station. I generally ‘do not’ get a ‘RT’. You can easily buy the return ticket at Victoria Station; where trains leave to all over the UK.

When you get to… Victoria Train Station; in the East End of London; you will be central to many sites and places to visit. The Victoria Bus Station and the Underground Tube [subway] are adjacent to the train station. There are plenty of people there to assist you; as they wear uniforms and are easily indentified. Across the street is the Victoria Coach station; where you may obtain Coach Tours of the UK.

You may want to ride a… ‘Double Decker’ bus around London as I do; or the Tube [subway] if you are in a rush. I like to see sites and speak with people. Children under 18 are free on the bus. Whichever, you choose or even both; be flexible. In the mornings the work crowd mostly takes the buses and tubes. There will always be another bus behind that one going the same route, so do not crowd the bus. Now they have an “Oyster” pass; which you pay ahead; for either bus or tube or both. Simply scan it on the ‘Reader’ on the bus or tube. That unlimited option is the best.

Up the stairs or escalator inside… Victoria Station and out the back of the station; to “Belgrave Road!” There are over… 200 Bed-&-Breakfasts there in the west end… all within walking distance! I turn ‘LEFT’ and walk down the street; and look for a Vacancy Sign! I get one for about $50/60 USD a night! That is called the “West End” of London.

In the mornings… I walk back to Victoria station, about 3-4 blocks and use my ‘Oyster’ pass. I ride the Double Decker Buses… and see the sites. You may also get on one of the  “Double Decker Bus Tour”… as I did. my first trip which includes… a boat ride on the Themes! It costs about $50 USD. There is the ‘Original’ tour and the other. Both are about the same!

The TUBE - subway is about $12 for a day pass. But you don't get to see everything because you are “Underground!” It is faster, but I am never in a rush! I rode it several times on my way back to my hotel because it was getting late. It can get crowded as the buses do in the evenings. Once again your ‘Oyster’ pass is the most convenient. Simply prepay for the days you are in London.

This blog picture is of… “Trafalgar Square”; and here is the “London Cam” link. Sometimes it is not working. Much of London can be seen efficiently if you Plan, Plan and Plan. Taxies are expensive and the traffic makes them more so.

Buckingham Palace is… within walking distance of Victoria Station… but I take the busses everywhere! Once you have learned the routs or where you want to go; you may “ALWAYS” ask the bus people that are in ‘Uniform’ at the bus area.

On Sundays… I go there to speak at “Speakers Corner”… at “Hyde Park!” You can speak or just listen to the many speakers there; and it is really good entertainment! Every time I go I always meet “Americans” from somewhere.

One “Must See”… is the “London EYE!” This “Ferris Wheel” is located across the Thames from “Big Ben” and the Parliament.  It takes about “30-minutes” flight or ride. You ride inside the dome; and see all of London from the Air! It was my most enjoyable site as you really get a perspective where everything is. Also you may want to also take a ‘Night’ ride!

Of course the… British Museum is north of China Town; not too far from “Piccadilly Circus”… which is comparable to our “New York Time Square”. The “Rosetta Stone” is there in the British Museum; along many artifacts from all over the planet. If you want to see a Broadway show; they are in the right area; at Piccadilly Circus.

And of course… “Harrods!” Sorry, I was not willing to pay, “$138 USD” for an ounce of Caviar! There is another department store; that has ‘most’ of what Harrods has; only two blocks away. Their prices are about half.

Need I say… Big Ben, The Tower of London and the London Bridge which are in walking distance from the London Eye! And the souvenir vendors… are on most corners. Take your time as you may spend about 2-hours or more with the ‘Tower of London’ on the speaking walking tours. Cameras are aloud outside, the but “NOT”… in the room with the ‘Crown Jewells’.

What more can… I say? For about… “$1500” for one or “$3,200” for two; you can have the time of your life; in the ‘Historical’ or ‘Modern London!’ London has a… ‘Late Night Life’… but I am not a ‘party animal’ so I passed! …LOL!

There are… grocery stores around; as most of the B&B have microwaves in their kitchens; and hot pot’s in the rooms; for instant tea, coffee or even “Ramen!”. There is a “Sainsbury” grocery store two blocks from Victoria Station. I often went to their Deli in the evening selected something delicious to take back to my B&B. In the mornings I went there and got some ‘Cornish Pastries’ for breakfast. The B&B is usually ‘Hot or Cold’ cereal and coffee.

On one of my trips… I took the ‘Euro-Star’ train through… “the Chunnel” [down under the English Channel] for a trip to Paris; from Waterloo station. You may travel outside of London to see the country side or visit other cities. Plan you trips before you go.

Well that is enough to get you... “Ready to GO!” I spent a lot of time on the Internet before I ever left for London. You do it too… so you have some general idea of where you are going. You may even print out a map of the area. There are London maps in each gift area for purchase.

Take your time… and “Plan”… “Plan”… “PLAN!” But in your Planning; be Flexible! Take a backpack and buy snacks in the USA or in one of the many stores. Bottled water and snacks are locally available in a local London store! Take your time; your camera; and have a Fantastic Trip.

Held captive in London – 101 Blog

Thanks for Your EAR! Roger //Email// atruth459@yahoo.com