traveling to UK and maybe Europe, need advice.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by epicstruggle, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. epicstruggle

    epicstruggle Passenger on Serenity
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    Id love to take my wife to London(et al), and if the price/time is right also to some places in Europe. If you live there or have visited the area, could you please provide me with some info. Such as:
    -is late november, or late december-january a good time to vacation?
    -what are the major attractions in London
    -how easy/cheap is it to travel around england, and to Europe.
    -driving, yes/no?
    -are there many veg. restaurants?

    Id love it if you could share some info. Im think 2-3 weeks would be about a good amount of time to spend there.

    later,
    epic
     
  2. DemoCoder

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    If you're staying for a long time and traveling great distances (e.g. to France, Italy, etc) get a Eurorail pass. Also, in big cities like France, buy a metro pass.

    Besides saving money, you don't have to worry about carrying spare change and buying tickets all the time, especially in Italy where in some metros, the damn machines only take EXACT change.
     
  3. Simon F

    Simon F Tea maker
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    Personal opinion as an non-Brit resident? I'd say November is better than Dec-Jan, but around that time the weather can tend to be a bit grey (but not as cold as some parts of the US). The days are also, naturally, quite short. Of course, if you want to visit museums/art galleries/theatre etc then it doesn't matter at all, but, unless you are really restricted on your timing, I would think waiting until after March would be better (Spring flowers and improving weather/longer days etc etc).
    Where does one begin? Gosh that could go on for a while.
    • Personally, I love the chain of parks (St James (Near Buckingham Palace)->Green Park->Hyde/Kensington Gardens) but they're better in Spring/Summer/Autumn.
    • There's loads of architecture (Parliament Buildings, Cathedrals etc) plus the history.
    • Don't miss the Tower of London - give yourself at least 3/4 of a day there.
    • While there also see Tower Bridge and nearby St. Katherine Docks.
    • Greenwich is also lovely (Walk up observatory hill and visit the museum (Easy to find, it's at bang-on Longitude zero :) )
    • Museums - most are free : British (incredible history), Natural History (the building itself is fantastic), Science, etc...
    • I could go on... oh, the London Eye is great when the weather is good. Fantastic views.
    Just England or more of the UK? I don't think travel is especially cheap (trains aren't unless you book well in advance (AHH but there is a multi-day pass for tourists that you can buy before arriving)) but I imagine a hire car would be reasonable. (The fuel prices will scare you coming from the US, but you don't have to drive massive distances).

    As for Europe, there are ridiculously cheap airfares available in and out of the UK, but recently we've been using the Eurostar to get to Paris/Brussels. If you book in advance it's not too bad and it is very quick and you go right to the centre of the cities.
    I honestly don't know. I would say "probably". You could also try the national cuisine - Indian. :) There are lots of inexpensive Indian restaurants that do Veggie dishes.
     
  4. Snyder

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    One thing about driving - If you are accustomed to US traffic discipline, you should have good nerves...at least that's what US citizens told me who have traveled by car in Europe for the first time.
     
  5. Simon F

    Simon F Tea maker
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    That's because no one is going to shoot you if you cut them up....

    Seriously though, the UK is fine (well maybe not central London :) ) and I've had no problems in the few parts of France where I've driven. Anyway, in my experience, in the UK they are more likely to signal before changing lanes than in California!
     
  6. nutball

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    One thing you will find about driving over here (as Simon F said) is that petrol (gas) is hellishly expensive compared to the US (think $5 per US gallon expensive). Fortunately we're a small country :)
     
  7. notAFanB

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    unfortunately we spend most of it stuck in traffic :p . seriously tho how is the traffic in london lately the charging scheme paying off yet?
     
  8. London-boy

    London-boy Shifty's daddy
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    "Apparently" (and i put that in very evident QUOTES) the traffic has improved "a lot" (again very evident and sarcastic and skeptical QUOTES).
    That's what the papers say. To my very pretty eyes, it's the same. :D
     
  9. Trawler

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    The congestion charge has definitely had a visible impact in the area where I work (the financial centre - just near Liverpool Street). It used to be jammers all the time but now it's quite calm almost all day (around noon is quite busy still).

    Unfortunetly the time of the year you're thinking of coming over is probably the worst time to do sight seeing. It's cold, damp and dark! It's only slighty after 5 here and it's already almost dark outside. It gets very depressing in the Dec/Jan months. You never see sunlight as it's dark when you go to and leave work.

    Fuel isn't the only thing expensive here, London is quite pricey in most things. Be prepared.

    Cheap flights are fantastic but most of them leave from smaller airports that are inconvienient to get to. Nothing worse than being delayed flying in to Stanstead and missing the last train back to central London! The bus trip takes almost two hours.

    http://www.ryanair.com
    http://www.easyjet.com

    BA also offers decently priced fairs on most European routes.

    http://www.ba.com

    Do as Simon suggests and get a Eurostar if you want to get down to Paris. Much easier than lugging yourself out to the airport and back again.

    Anyway must run, hope that helps you a little!
     
  10. London-boy

    London-boy Shifty's daddy
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    I perfectly agree. Although i must say, for anyone who hasn't seen cities like Bologna, Rome, Florence, Venice in Italy, during the winter when it's also cold and dark, then you haven't experienced "Winter"...
    Really, winter in Italian cities (and some other european countries) is something as charming and visually beautiful as you can find.
    London during the winter is depressing in comparison (and in absolute terms really).
    That is why i always try to go to Italy during the winter as much as i can... Not only it's beautiful to see (even if you grew up there and saw it all before, like i did) but MOST IMPORTANTLY you can afford pretty cool clothes/stuff for decent prices :D
    But maybe i'm a bit biased... :wink:
     
  11. epicstruggle

    epicstruggle Passenger on Serenity
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    we are still talking about all our options. However there are several places that we would love to see in london:
    -swami narayan temple
    -palaces and museums
    -personally id love to see the parlimant in action, but not sure if its even open to the public.
    -theater and shows.

    after that, just go around england or go to france/europe. How easy/cheap is it to get to paris by train/plane?

    later,
    epic
     
  12. Trawler

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    If you're going to be based in central London, then train is absolutely the best way to go.

    www.eurostar.com

    Trains leave from Waterloo station, which is very central and easy to get to. Tickets can be as cheap as £60/£70 return - though you might do well by looking into a hotel package deal. It takes about two and a half hours to get to Paris from London.

    Of course, you may be able to get a flight cheaper than that, but then you've got to factor in transport costs to and from the airports in London and Paris. Also factor in time spent getting to and from the airport, checkin time and time waiting for luggage... and it becomes a distant second option. I'd only recommend it if you were staying somewhere near the airport and/or got an excellent deal.
     
  13. notAFanB

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    he speaks the truth.
    I'm with epicstruggle here, go for the museums and pop down to Greenwich for a picnic.
     
  14. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    The houses of parliment are open, but IIRC you generally have to queue.

    My advice on travel would be not to use a car in London, as there is more than enough public transport around, but if you venture further afield for a week or two you might want to think about hiring one.
     
  15. Humus

    Humus Crazy coder
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    Bah! You got like two hours or so more sunlight than I got. It's 15:27 here right now, and it's beginning to darken.
     
  16. Trawler

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    Ah, but over there you've got plenty of lovely Swedish ladies to look at. Makes the long dark nights far less depressing. :wink:
     
  17. Humus

    Humus Crazy coder
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    I do? :shock: I can't see them from my place by the keyboard. 8)
     
  18. K.I.L.E.R

    K.I.L.E.R Retarded moron
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    Maybe I should come over and treat you to a little lady kindness? ;) :D
     
  19. Legion

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    Jesus Christ why on earth is that..?
     
  20. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    Because there is a massive tax on fuel. For every pound you spend on petrol, something like 83 pence goes to the goverment coffers. There have been protests about it in the past, but it's a big earner for the Exchequer. If someone ever invents a cheap alternative fuel car that catches on, the government will have to find something else to tax.
     
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