Stop 1 of a magnificent Europe tour and London did not disappoint. While very similar to the U.S. it does have a unique ‘olden time’ charm that led me to go back less than a year later…for the royal wedding (peasant on the street, not in the pew).
Things I learned from round 1:
- Three movies and a mediocre airplane meal and you are there! This is an easy flight and most major carriers go there – just look for the best deal. I set up alerts on the hopper app and got my round-trip for $600 on American Airlines.
- There are two airports in London, pay close attention when booking your travels. My friends* learned the hard way.
- Super easy to get around with the public trans (tube), but be ok with the idea that your death might be caused by over heating in the summer or frostbit in the winter – there is no temperature control on those tin cans.
- I geeked out at Wimbledon and am not afraid to admit that. I will also admit that there is always some train route under construction with a detour, so if you end up on the air-conditioned with free wifi, five-star train, you are on the wrong one. Two hours later…
- The Making of Harry Potter is cool and a must-see for all HP fanatics, so long as you are willing to go to Timbuktu. It is no where near the downtown tourist area and will cost you $120 in uber fees and two hours of your life you will never get back. They have shuttles, but then you have to come and go on their watch. Why can’t the Hogwarts Express pick us up right from our hotels?
- The same view of the city can be seen from the London Eye, Tower Bridge, the Fire Monument and the Shard. Do not waste money on doing all of these things – choose one. One = The Fire Monument.
- Speaking of the Fire Monument – this is not for the height scaredy cats, or anyone who is physically out of shape. I wish I was kidding. It is the coolest place to see the city, but you lose your breath and personal space climbing those itty bitty stairs.
- Be aware that your medium-sized luggage will not fit through the hotel room doorway. And neither will you, actually.
- Eat everything.
- Drink everything.