London – Bad Food, Worse Weather

New York Travel Blog

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Random Observation/Comment #137: Whenever I think of London, I think of Shanghai Knights with Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan. I’m always afraid that I’ll meet a very good looking girl with ugly teeth there. Do they just have bad dental plans? *shutters* Poor dental hygiene is a deal breaker. I’ve also learned from this movie that I should never touch those red coat guards with the beavers on their head. I hope they get to shoot something after they switch shifts – I know I would if I had to deal with those annoying tourists. Even though I’m sympathetic for their pent up rage, I will probably take a lot of funny pictures and harass the crap out of them.

General Research:
• Currency: GBP = approx. 1.47 USD (2/8/2009)
• Transportation
o London Underground/Tube
 Oyster card – 3 GBP deposit – prepay mode requires a credit card with PIN so probably not useful
 Weekly Travelcard - buy within the zones you purchase
 Probably compact like NYC so many places are walkable
 From London Heathrow (LHR) take the London Underground (Piccadilly Line) to Zones 1-6. 2-3.50 GBP
 A few good map websites:
o Bus – sure, but living in Long Island, I’ve gotten the sensation that if you take a bus, you’re automatically poor. Experience from NYC shows that the bus is for the more experienced commuters. I rather just “subway it” or walk everywhere.
• Main attractions
o Free museums (suggested donations)
 Tate Modern
 Tate Britain
 British Museum
 National Gallery
 National Portrait Gallery
o Free/popular Parks
 St James Park* - nice pictures posted
 Hyde Park
o Westminster Abbey
 Big Ben
 House of Parliament
o Buckingham Palace* - make fun of guards
o Trafalgar Square* - quick place to drop by and take a picture
o London Eye* - observation wheel for pictures, but 15 GBP and usually requires 1-3 hour queue. Better to buy tickets online for discount and avoid lines. Specific times are assigned
o Tower Bridge
o Tower of London
o St. Paul’s Cathedral
o Regent’s Park* – Royal park
o Hyde Park* - another recommended royal park
o Piccadilly Circus* - The Times Square of London
• Shopping areas
o Covent Garden
o Soho
o Oxford Street
• Pubs and Bars – see the bar crawl map from Frommers []
Optimized Days:
• Day 1: Westminster Landmarks
o Take Tube to Knightsbridge station from Piccadilly line
o Change of guards at Buckingham Palace at 11:30AM
o St. James’ Park (head East)
o Imperial War Museum – Cabinet War Rooms
o Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, and “Big Ben”
o Cross Westminster Bridge to the Waterloo station
• Day 2: London Eye and Museums
o Take train to Russell Square
o British Museum
o Walk South to National Gallery
o Piccadilly Circus (in afternoon) to the West in Trafalgar Square
o See Westminster Bridge at night
o British Airways London Eye (think about reserving online)
• Day 3
o Tate Modern near Southwark station (walk North)
o St Paul’s Cathedral (continue North)
o Tower of London (walk East)
o Tower Bridge
o Walk West towards Tower Bridge Station
• Day 4
o Kensington Palace and garden from High St. Kensington stop
o St George’s Chapel
o Hyde Park (head East)
o Head west to Victoria and Albert Museum
o Royal Albert Hall
o Walk East
o Bulgrave Square
o Piccadilly Circus (at night)
• Day 5 – Window-shopping?
o Oxford Street
o New & Old Bond Streets
o Burlington Arcade
• Day 6
o Petticoat Lane
o Camden Market
o Shopping on Portobello Road
o Beauchamp Place for window-shopping
• Frommers []
• Travelwiki []
• Yahoo!Travel []

~See Lemons go to London

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