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How to select and prepare a cruise

Lisboa, Portugal

This is the first post, and I am preparing some information related with the cruise.

permalink written by  karoli_algar on May 30, 2006 from Lisboa, Portugal
from the travel blog: Cruise in Baltic and Denmark
tagged MyFavoriteLocationsLisboa, Paris, London and NewYork

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Let it Begin!!!

London, United Kingdom

I gave my notice today!!
That can only mean one thing - it is only 4 weeks until i head off.
My flight to Paris is booked and thats it im hoping to wing it as much as possiable but i will try and plan a little bit as mum and dad will freak otherwise. I will post an iternary so if anyone else to travelling it would be cool to hookup somewhere along the way?
Today i buy my Bus A About ticket and my travel insurance from STA.
I also collect my student card (love dodgy deals lol).
So had better get to it hey...

permalink written by  Dalziel on May 31, 2007 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Euro Dream
tagged London

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London Touchdown

London, United Kingdom

After too many hours to count, Heather and I finally arrive in the good ol' UK!
We met up with her friends Mark (friendly) and Bridget (quite lovely) and settle into their place for a night or two. The next day we wander about, check out the Camden, UK Markets. See the sights, in the evening we went to an Irish Pub and had some Guiness.

permalink written by  Estelle on July 9, 2007 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Estelle and Heather's Europe Trip: Summer 2007
tagged London

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Good Ol' London Town

London, United Kingdom

After a bit of a delay leaving Marco Polo airport, we finally arrived at London Gatwick. The immigration man wasn't particularly impressed with our description of where we were staying in London as just "my brother's place", but we'd thrown out the piece of paper with all of our addresses on it.....However, on the up side there was no-one at the airport when we arrived (about 10.30pm) so we flew through customs and this time our luggage was actually on the carousel!

It was SO nice being met by someone and not having to carry our luggage and figure out maps etc. Mikey drove us to his lovely flat in Wimbledon Park (yes, Jane has been looking out for wombles - no luck yet).

We had decided to come to London a bit early, partly because of travel fatigue, partly because of severely reduced funds.

No rest for the wicked though, as coming early meant that Mikey wanted to take us to see a little bit of England for the weekend. Ironically Jane has seen more of England than Mikey - after a month in the UK in 1999.

For our England "mini break" We all headed off to Bath, with the aim of Mike's new Tom Tom, where we saw the fabulous Abbey and amazing roman baths. We toured the Cotswald villages and went to Blenheim Palace (home of the drunken looking Duke of Malborough). They are so picturesque! We then headed back to London town (oh god how to people here cope with the traffic). Jane insisted on playing English folk music in the car - good old Steeleye Span!

Mike then took us on a whirlwind "London in two days" tour, including Fortnum and Mason (for Jane to get excited about), Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Picadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Buckingham Palace, St James' Park, Houses of Parliament, St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben ("Look kids Big Ben" was mentioned a lot for all of you European Vacation movie fans), the Tate Modern, the Sloane Museum, the Tower of London and the London Eye. Don't worry - some of these things were literally just walking past them, but this was not a tour for the faint-hearted - Mister Mike is a hard taskmaster!

We also went to the theatre and saw a great comedy called Boeing Boeing. We had a few drinks in the pub afterwards and the whole cast was there, which was great. Mikey put his fantastic accents to work, as one of the characters was a crazy German woman so they both did accents together which was very funny - he was born to be on the stage!

Wednesday was a well-deserved rest day, hence all of the blogging! Kristian cooked a fab roast chicken!

We caught up with Jane's step brother Steve on Monday night for a fantastic dinner in a converted warehouse in East London, complete with an interesting movie installation downstairs. So much fun and lots of great cocktails -thanks Steve!

Last day we did Camden Town, which was great. Kristian found some great tops (finally actually bought something!!) We had a great night at Mike's local with some of his mates for our final night AND J&K beat a couple of guys in pool who thought they were really good! HA!

We can't thank Mike enough for his generosity. If it wasn't for his sponsorship, we wouldn't have been able to stay in the UK for a whole week!

HIGHLIGHTS: Staying with Mike and catching up with Steve, England "mini break", the Autumn leaves in the countryside, Roast beef in Burford, strolling around London, the London eye (such great views particularly of the Houses of Parliament), going to the theatre, history of England (ie Bath, Blenheim).

LOWLIGHTS: Prices, not enough time.

INTERESTING FACTS: London is bloody expensive! Thank god for Hotel de Mikey!

USELESS INFORMATION: We love the names in England. Some of the Cotswald villages included Bourton on the Water, Burford, Stow on the Wold, Moreton on the Marsh - you get the picture. My favourite is Upper Slaugther and Lower Slaughter. Even better was Wapping - pronounced Whopping and Tooting Broadway!

Both J&K were thrilled to have a cooked English breakfast! We missed it!

permalink written by  JaneandKristian on October 17, 2007 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Jane and Kristian's honeymoon
tagged London and England

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London Calling! ring!!! ring!!!

London, United Kingdom

we're knackered!... but had to get going. Checking in at Pensacola for connecting flight to London's Gatwick was - ehm, a hassle... we're getting quite used to this. somehow our bookings are either faulty, unpaid or simply difficult. at this point, we question what the use was for paying service fees to the travel agency. Already we are bracing ourselves for more hassles when we board the plane to the UK at Charlotte airport. At Charlotte airport, the ladies at the boarding gate scanned Joia's NZ passport through and through - looking for visas.Kanootz' Philippine passport is apparently okay. ??? he has a visa (which we applied and waited for 1 month). We keep telling them, NZ passport holders do not need entry visa. Anyway, finally, some guy who knew his job finally came along and let us through. ZZZZZZZZZ we tried to get as much sleep as we could in the plane... well, 'cause we had no choice. to watch tv or movie, have to buy an earphone. we miss the perks of flying AirNZ, sob!

Our plane landed in Gatwick on 19 November at 9:00 London time. We basically remember nothing much except how confused and giddy we were. Our only goal that day was get to Silvertown where Etap hotel was. At 90UKpounds(NZ$270), taxi was not an option! We spent nearly 2 hours at the airport before we finally figured out that the best transport to our hotel was via train. Joia was teary eyed by the time we boarded the 'correct' train. 1 whole hour of train ride meant we only got to the hotel by mid day. we were starving. On our way to the hotel door, some stranger stopped us, asking for 2ukpounds. we said we didn't have any. he argued we just didn't want to give him any. for goodness sake! we just wanna go rest now. we told him to come to the hotel reception with us. there, he was now asking for 10pounds.?#@! Joia gave him only 2lbs as it was all we had, fortunately. We took the lift to room 322. We unpacked a little. We fetched some bread and croissants from the petrol station nearby and had them for lunch. took a shower. crashed to bed.

time to get up... huh? 2pm! not the same day. following. we slept from 5pm of the 19th to 2pm of the 20th. This was definitely a hall-of-famer! In a hurry, we groomed up for our first official day, rather evening in London City. We took the DLR train which was 5 minutes away from the hotel. then we took another train to Central London. Hey, we just noticed how superb London Underground is. To say it's a far cry from NY's subway is an understatement. In contrast to NY's subway, London tube is CLEAN! very clean! we like clean! we miss clean! You can actually breathe and sit in it, and even enjoy the ride no matter how long.

we exited the tube through Oxford Circus. From here, we began exploring the city. The weather was really nippy by now but we were too hungry to even care about the cold. we just wanted to get some decent warm food. we found this sandwich shop called EAT. we found out later there's lots of EATs in London. Excellent! After some bite, we walked along trying to locate Langham of London where we were to catch our tour bus tomorrow. It turns out it's just 5 minutes walk from EAT. Yay! Now we won't get lost.From Langham place, we took a u-turn towards Picadilly Circus. We just learned 'Circus' in London means a big 'roundabout'! Haha! Lots of prime shops for (window only) shopping. Eye candy for Joia. By chance, they were lighting up Oxford Street that night. We were looking for a handy shoulder bag for Joia at Lacoste when the shop assistant told us about the event. We ended up staying out in the streets that evening.

We bought a slab of pizza each from some Italian restaurant (with an Irish-looking chef) and kept walking around Picadilly Circus until we found ourselves in Leicester Square where we found a cheap Internet cafe. 1pound/hour or buy a drink and stay for their wifi. Goodie! means we can keep blogging. can't seem to live without internet these days.

time to go back to hotel. 11pm... we were worried that some guy was gonna follow us again on our way home from the pontoon dock station. Thank God, there were other people from the train walking in same direction as we were. The evening was so full on... but we didn't expect any less anyway. It feels like San Francisco again (except a lot cleaner, they have great big machines constantly scrubbing their cobbled streets)... we're complete strangers to the city. no one to look out for us. Really really thankful to God for our guardian angels!

permalink written by  garcia on November 20, 2007 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Got 2 see what's out there!
tagged London

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Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?

London, United Kingdom

... I've been up to London... didn't visit the Queen...

By now, we are starting to feel the stress of flying and being constantly on the move. Although, we are happy about our decision to forget about hostels (thanks to our hostel experience in SFO) for now, and stay in a cheap but clean hotel instead, it doesn’t exactly help that it had to be so far away from the city centre to be affordable. So, to avoid more stress, we booked to join coach tours for the next two days. Today, a London Day City tour with an evening cruise along the River Thames. Tomorrow, we go for a day tour outside of London through the same tour company.Still jet lagged, we only snoozed off at 03:00 hours in the early morning. Then, we had to get up as early as 06:00 hours to make it to Langham Hotel at 08:00 where the coach was picking us up. We had breakfast at EAT again, scrambled egg panini. Not bad.

The bus was 20 minutes late! Grrrr! Hmpf! Grrrr! We waited in front of the hotel. We learned later that the Langham hotel’s cheapest room is at UK350 pounds per night! What?!!! What kind of people stay in places like this? I also noticed that they had quite a few Filipino employees.

Finally, the shuttle arrived and it took us to Victoria Coach Station where we boarded our tour bus. Our blue-badge tour guide’s name is Richard. Man, he liked to talk. We realized later, we were the only ones listening to him; everyone else had their speakers off. Oh well, at least he kept us entertained. We certainly appreciated the information spoon-feeding as we're too lazy to read up about the places.

The tour started with a visit to the Tower of London, with a view of the Tower Bridge. Kenneth enjoyed the interactive exhibits at the White Tower museum. Joia was almost dizzied by all the bejeweled stuff in the Crown Jewel House. Oh, please do keep the postcards we sent you particularly the ones from the Tower of London/Crown Jewels for possible collection when we get back… haha! It’s just that we didn’t buy any souvenir.

From there, we drove to Buckingham Palace just in time for the finale of the changing of the guards. It was perfect timing! We didn’t get to see the whole process but we didn’t want to anyway, as apparently the middle bit is quite boring. There were Croatians in their football colours everywhere that day. We learned later that England was playing Croatia that night. England lost. They were very sore.

From Buckingham Palace, we were brought to an English pub for lunch – as promised. There we got chatting with the other people in the tour group. One very friendly young lady was called Julie. She’s French, 26, very well traveled; her boyfriend’s English so she took a job with Evan Evans to be able to live in the UK. She’s trying out the company’s products/services before she commences work. Sensible! There was a Filipino lady and her American husband from Connecticut; they were nice and down to earth. Then there’s this Filipino retiree couple, super YABANG! “O, yu shud bisit us in Merilend, we hab 3 extra rums becos ol our children are propeshonals and hab their own houses.” We were saying ‘Wow, you did very well then! But inside, Joia was grinding her teeth. ’Hmpf! Just the kinds of people that make one realize just how easy it is to stereotype Filipinos. Not good!

Anyway, after lunch, we drove to Westminster Abbey. By this time, the tour was getting a bit too overloaded. Too many tombs, even Charles Darwin’s was there. ???? Doesn’t make sense ‘cause the Abbey is a church building. We did like the section where the ‘Quire’ (Old English for Choir) sits. Although there was no singing at the time, we can imagine how lovely it would have been.

We then ended the day with the beautiful evening cruise along the River Thames. We didn’t have enough time to go for a ride on the London Eye, but we were quite content with just being at the foot of it. The cruise captain was funny. He kept making us wave to the people on every bridge we passed. We were fortunate that just before the cruise ended, a big barge was approaching the Tower Bridge which meant it had to open up. What a sight!

We didn’t really realize just how tired and stressed up we actually were until the tour finished and we were on our own. We walked around Picadilly Circus trying to locate the Internet Café we found last night. It was very frustrating; we were already hungry and tired but had to prioritize it so we could book our plane to Turin. This was yet another hall-of-famer, in a bad way, as this was our lowest point. We had a really big fight… which we won’t go about into too much detail, as you probably don’t want to hear about it anyway. The thing is, we expected and prepared ourselves for far worse situations than this. We knew there were going to be tough times. We’re still quite thankful and very proud to say, we are still very married and in love! Yippee!

Hope you enjoyed our London City tour. God bless you all!

permalink written by  garcia on November 22, 2007 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Got 2 see what's out there!
tagged London

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From the Ganges to the Thames

London, United Kingdom

A soul searching journey from the Ghats of river The Ganges to London Tower Bridge. It is fascinating, it is trhilling, it is ammusing,
Be tuned I'll tell it all :)

permalink written by  ajaykumarsingh on December 24, 2007 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: From the Ganges to the Thames
tagged London, India, UK, Benaras and Bangalore

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London, United Kingdom

i couldn't be more happy getting off the plane after a 12-hour ride without personal screen! it was quite a shock for us that on a long-haul flight, the carrier has no personal screens facilities!

anway, we're glad the flight's over and landing at Heathrow Airport marks the real beginning of our trip i guess...
we took the tube to see our 1st host, where we will be staying for 2 nights...
it was fairly easy getting there cos we had specific instructions from the host herself and a friend in London.
after about an hour on the tube, we finally reached our destination, cold, wet (like the London weather!) and jet-lagged.
it was in a nice cosy apartment near High Street Kensington station.
Abby, our host, greeted us warmly and immediately made us hot tea. we sat by the fireplace and chatted... for a moment, that felt like heaven!!
with a little help from our host, we sort of decided on the route tomorrow...
so, am going to bed cos we'll be walking heaps tomorrow!

permalink written by  wangyng on March 26, 2008 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Hello Europe!!
tagged London

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London (Part 2)

London, United Kingdom

ok... so we headed back to London before our next stop in Worthing/Brighton.
actually we dont NEED to go back to London but it's easier to go places from London since it is well-linked by all sorts of transport medium.

our next host is an animal lover + single mum. she has 3 cats n 2 dogs.
the room we are sleeping in is the living room where the dogs usually sleeps... no no we didn't have to sleep with the dogs..
as messy as it is (i dont think any1 can imagine the level of messiness!!), we slept really well that 2 nights cos we were soooooooooooo tired!

anyway, we met up with Kat again n also Eve's sister-in-law n friends for dinner opposite Enbankment tube station.
Kat n us took a long walk along Thames River after dinner.

the night view was nice n there's some street buskers singing along the walk... the lights, the atmosphere... it feels pretty romantic actually.
we walk for almost 1.5hr, til we see the London Bridge before heading back for the night.

we took the next day really easy, just going to the markets in Camden nearby. Camden is known for their markets so u can imagine there's lotsa tourists there even on weekdays.

after walking through 2 markets n a street full of shops selling shoes n all kind of hats, we both ended up buying something... i just feel like i need to buy something there! hahah

for dinner, we met 2 friends (Oway n YiYing) of our friend in Singapore,
the gals brought us to a really famous n popular Japanese restaurant (u MUST make reservation to eat there n it's usually fully packed with back to back reservations!)

the gals are great fun n really nice people! it didnt feel like we just got to know each other (of cos, bitching about common friend helps break d ice quickly! ;) ). we had drinks afterwards n met Jeff. great food n good company, i think that's a good last night in London!

next stop, we're heading to the beach: Worthing! we actually wanted to head to Brighton but we only managed to find a host in Worthing, which is 30 min drive fr Brighton. dont know what to expect for the beach here but still looking forward to it!

permalink written by  wangyng on March 30, 2008 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Hello Europe!!
tagged London and Camden

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Day 2 - London

London, United Kingdom

so... after a little bit of planning and advice from our host, we set off bright and early in the morning (ok, not that bright considering d gloomy weather of London)...

first stop, Portobello Market in Notting Hill.

this is 1 of d closest place we can walk to from where we are staying.
the market aint as busy as it would be on weekends and some stalls were not open... but it works for us as we probably enjoy the walk more that way.
there are quite a lot of antiques shops and it's actually cool to see some really old toys, little tools, bottles, etc.
the fresh food market was very tempting indeed and i couldn't resist buying something in the end...

we headed for the nearby Kensington Garden afterwards... after getting lunch on the way, we decided to picnic there.
ok maybe not exactly a picnic cos it was tooo freaking COLD to sit on the grass even with a ground sheet!
so there we were, having lunch, watching dogs, joggers, and familes goes by, occasionally a pigeon or 2 tried to sneak up and steal our food
but we manage to fight them off... it actually feels really good sitting in a huge n beautiful garden...

besides the fat squirrels running around freely in the garden, we did manage to see the famous gold statue at the Albert Memorial.

it was a HUUUUGE statue... far larger than what the photos made it out to be! there's also the Royal Albert Hall which is directly opposite the gold statue. was hoping to watch something there but it cost way too much!

the day ended with us going to Harrod's which is kinda like a really posh Mustafa Centre... anything u need, u can pretty much get it there... from food to furniture to shoes and jet ski!?!

then it's dinner with our pal from uni Kat that we havent seen in a while... a familiar face in a foreign land always brings warmth to the heart...

so we'll be heading to Oxford tomorrow, a historic town full of academic high flyers (gosh how i hate them! ok fine, i'm just jealous!)
should be a history lesson in the trip itself!

permalink written by  wangyng on March 27, 2008 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Hello Europe!!
tagged London

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