London Travel Blog

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I love Ryanair!  Believe it or not, I really do!

Except when you make a mistake while booking and want to change.  Then you'd be better off beating your head into the wall for a few hours...same result, without the concussion!

Well...I have plans in London on the 1st...but thought that was the prior weekend and booked my ticket for the 25th, and didn't realize until too late!  Damn!!!  God, that hurts!  Especially when I find that the ticket for the proper weekend is half the price of the incorrect weekend!  Oh well...live and learn...and off to England for some sightseeing I guess!!!

After a lot of indecision, I decided on Friday night that I will in fact make the trip to Londontown on the Saturday morning.  As usual, last minute hotel (unfortunately, not anywhere near where I wanted to be!) and off I go!

My hotel was going to be right in the City of London, but even though all the web sights touted availability, I was not able to book...so I gave a call to find out the hotel was, in fact, sold out!  This was at the Ibis City, but they offered me a room at the Ibis Stratford.  Well...I have no idea where that is, and when they mentioned only three tube stops away, I decided, sure, why not!  Well...Stratford is, in fact, right where the 2012 Olympics will be...off every London map I have ever seen in the East End borough of Newham.  And I gotta say, not as bad as I thought it would be!

Knowing that my hotel would be a bit of a haul from the city, and having packed very light for only the one night, I took off from Liverpool street direct on my sightseeing...hotel check-in will come later!

Started walking from Liverpool street around 11...and over the next six hours managed to see quite a bit of the sights of London by foot!  Bank of England, St. Paul's Cathedral, Old Bailey, Royal Courts, Temples and Temple Church, Trafalgar Square, Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster (from outside, having arrived less than FIVE minutes after the last admission!), Buckingham Palace, Wellington Arch, and Hyde Park before finally hopping on the Central Line out to Stratford to check in to my hotel.  Only stayed there a few minutes to empty out my bag before heading back out and hitting the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Thames Walk down to the Milennium Bridge and back up to St. Pauls before bussing it back to Trafalgar for a walk up to Picadilly Circus where I was engulfed in an American invasion...hundreds of American Football fans all congregated on Picadilly for dinner and drinks the night before the NFL game betwen the Saints and Chargers at Wembley!

As much as I relished the idea of hanging with my countrymen, I hopped back on the tube to King's cross where I took the obligatory photo for the Harry Potter fans then headed back to Stratford to hang out with a more real crowd in a number of pubs near my hotel.  Who knew there were so many Wetherspoons in the UK!!!  A few pints there, a pint here, a pint there, and another few pints at another few here's and there's before calling it a night when the pubs shut down.

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photo by: ulysses