Anyone Been to London (or Paris)?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Ms. I, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    This thread was moved from the Substitute thread w/o my knowing it. I wanted input from the subs too since I know some of them may not post in the other sections of the board. Plus, I already started a thread about this in the Time Out thread.

    I'm planning to go to London for the 2012 Olympics & it's time to start making plans NOW as things like that book up way in advance. Has anyone ever been & if so, post here all about it. The primary location of the olympic games will be in Stratford. I already put down at $100/person refundable deposit w/ a travel company to hold our spots. Anyone heard of e-Commerce Technology?

    I want to stay at least 2 wks & want to see the opening ceremony, tennis, gymnastics, basketball, & track & field. I'd like to be in Paris for 2-3 days too.
     
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  3. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    I've been to both London and Paris. London will be a zoo..it's already a zoo! lol It is very much the NYC of England. :)

    You'll have a great time I think..but save and take way more money than you'll need. The exchange rate..which will change again by 2012..but you basically get half your money to the pound. And the prices number wise look the same until you do the math. lol

    If you've not traveled before.beware of pick pockets. And not just adult pick pockets, they are sneaky...and I'm sure will be on the prowl with all the extra tourists.

    If you want to go to paris..from what I remember the chunnel ride isn't that long at all. the group I was with already had transportation arranged..so getting from the chunnel into downtown paris is a bit hazy! I was already at 2.5 weeks of travel with about 3 hours of a sleep a night..:)

    I'd give yourself extra time of travel to deal with jetlag. Not to mention I'm sure flying will be a headache b/c London and Paris are such big international travel hubs...aside from the olympics. lol

    The underground will probably be the best way to travel around..and cheaper. but you'll figure all that out!

    Have fun and happy planning.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    There are far worse thigs you could say!

    I didn't love Paris.The city was gorgeous, but I wasn't crazy about the people I met (with the exception of one wonderful cabbie!!!) London, though, is one of my favorite cities!!
     
  5. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I spent 3 or 4 days in London, but that was after 6 weeks of living in Spain, culminating with on overnight bus ride to the Madrid airport, an early morning flight to London, and a tube ride with our luggage to our hotel. I don't really remember too many of the traveling details--it was all a blur!

    I agree with the price thing--the prices seem the same, but you have to remember they're really twice as much. We found a grocery story and stocked up on bread, peanut butter, and fruit (but we were college students trying to be as cheap as possible).

    We stayed in a little hotel near Hyde Park; it was on a residential street that looked like it was straight out of Mary Poppins! It was out of the center of things, but a short ride on the tube to anywhere we needed to go. We wanted to see as much as we could in the time we had, so we were constantly busy. We did go see the Phantom of the Opera, and got in line early for the discount tickets (It was in some park, but I don't really remember where...). We also went to church Sunday morning in St. Paul's Cathedral; sat underneath the dome and the acoustics (organ and choir/orchestra) were incredible!
     
  6. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I've been to both but it has been a while.

    I agree absolutely - allow some rest time in the travel planning, so you can enjoy all the activities. When we arrived in London we were so jazzed we could not sleep, so went out walking, had dinner and wine, and finally were able to go to bed at a reasonable hour and get up at 6 or 7 London time. We stayed on a pretty strict getting up time - traveling with group.

    The tube will get you anywhere, and you should start building up your walking stamina and take great walking shoes! People do a lot of walking there. We did find that sharing a cab was not that expensive, was fun, and more convenient than the tube late at night. And get used to looking carefully both ways before crossing any streets!

    As for Paris, it is a beautiful city but we did not have as great of an experience. At that time the people were kind of snotty to Americans. We just responded with big smiles! I would recommend booking a tour of the city if you are only there a few days.

    I actually caught a woman with her hand in my purse! I was so mad I just glared at her, and she quickly left. The best travel purses are in Travel Smith. They sell a cross body purse with a steel cable in the strap, which discourages thieves from slitting your purse strap and taking off. Keep important papers in your hotel safe, keep a credit card and some local cash close to your body. Of course, stay with the crowd and you will probably have a blast!
     
  7. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Actually Travel Smith has great clothes for travel. You can wad them up and shake out the wrinkles. A few outfits could see you through a two week stay. Probably you could get everything in a carry on, which I strongly recommend for overseas travel. No checking bags - they are more likely to get lost and with just a carry on you can make any connections quickly.
     
  8. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    When I took a small group of students to London, I didn't carry a purse - I had a group leader's tote that I used for my water bottle, small first aid kit, etc. My money, credit card, and passport stayed securely under my jacket in a neck pouch. I loved London, but I never got adjusted to the time difference and didn't sleep well. The next time I go, I'll bring a mild sleep med with me. We did check bags, so I smooshed a pillow from home into a spacebag and brought it along - boy, was I glad I did! The pillow in my tourist-class hotel room was practically flat! We stayed in the Bayswater area, walked a lot, and had passes for the Tube and buses - very convenient. I loved London and look forward to returning one day.
     
  9. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    Yeah..I'm so used to it I forgot to mention..keep extra copies of all your info in case your passport gets lost/stolen in case you need to make an emergency stop at the embassey. I also travel really light, and take really good shoes! I had friends that while in Egypt...there was serious probs with their luggage..a long story, but all they had for 10 days was what they had in their carry on...so I always pack extra clothes in my carry on :)

    In the group I first traveled with to the Uk and Paris, we had a cop get about 300 euros and some credit cards stolen as he was getting on the tube. luckily the teacher I travel with has lots of experience and keen eyes and told us to watch these 3-4 kids. these boys were probably about 9-10. 10 minutes later...we see the cops son running through the tube after the boys. the kids rushed him as he was getting on in the crowd of people..took off down the tube and was off before they really even knew what hit them. and of course he was stuck on the tube while the kids were on the platform with their money.


    It's better to walk everywhere anyway...you'll get to see more of the small details. The Beef Eaters are hilarious and have that old man cheeky humor :)

    If you can afford the time..make a trip out to Bath. It's not that far out of London. It is beautiful. And The Roman Baths are amazing...not to mention Stonehenge...

    I haven't been able to travel anywhere in about 4 years and really want to go back.
     
  10. Hartlepool

    Hartlepool Rookie

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    Paris is lovely...cultured and soooo romantic.
    London is a disgrace ! Go to the north of the UK and see the REAL friendly Brits !!!
     
  11. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I liked London, and we practically walked the entire city before we figured out the underground, and that a taxi is not that expensive!

    Hartlepool, what are some good spots in London? It is a fantastic place - surely there is something good to tell us? I was actually born nearby!

    Do tell us some good things to do either in London or the surrounding area, maybe interesting things that don't require driving our own car. That could be a disaster. How far can you travel on the underground, and what are the must sees for London?

    Wher in the north are the most friendly Brits? I really had a wonderful experience there, but it was many years ago.

    One thing I noticed is that the Brits have a very large and proper "personal space," whereas, when we went to Italy, there is no personal space!! Does this still hold true? I think we Americans are seen as pushy because our "personal bubble" is so much smaller than the Brits, we are louder and opinionated at times.
     
  12. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    I totally disagree about the jet lag thing. Don't rest, just start with whatever time of day it is in the country. If you arrive at noon and your body thinks it's midnight, DO NOT SLEEP, live like it's noon. That's the quickest way to get over jet lag. Trust me, I spend a lot of time visiting places in SE Asia, which were 12 hours ahead....exactly backwards from home.
     
  13. Hartlepool

    Hartlepool Rookie

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    Bonneb, the only good thing I can say about that digusting excuse of a so-called "capital city" is that the Luftwaffe paid it a few visits in 1940 , a bloody digrace ! Go to REAL Britain...go north man !
     
  14. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Thanks a lot everyone! I'm going to keep an eye out for more TV shows about London & Paris on the Travel Channel, National Geographic, etc. I recorded an hour-long show today about Stonehenge.

    I'm ready to immerse myself in the culture!

    TELL ME MORE GUYS!


    I'd love to rachel, but I'll be travelling w/ 2 ladies twice my age, so I don't know how well they can keep up w/ me! :)
     
  15. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    You know, Hartle, we are all entitled to our opinions. With all due respect, you are making Londoners look like the more polite set. I don't know from where your hatred (dare I say prejudice) of Londoners stems, but your bitterness does not become you.

    Ms. I, fly in through Gatwick and take the express train to Victoria Station. It was one of the best tips we got when planning our trip. Purchasing the tickets was a breeze, and a train leaves every 30 minutes or so I believe. Heathrow is one of the busiest airports in the world from what I understand, and was socked in by fog for days before and after our arrival.
     
  16. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    We did this too. We still experienced some jet lag but not at all what we thought we would
     
  17. Hartlepool

    Hartlepool Rookie

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    I think the fact I am (badly) governed by that **** place certainly give me the right to slate the bloody place too. Check out the youth crime figures for the place and check out just how many youths have been stabbed in London gang fights...oh and why your at it , copare it to the rest of the sensible civilised Uk !
     
  18. Hartlepool

    Hartlepool Rookie

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    D a m n place ! and bloody is allowed , interesting !
     
  19. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Hartlepool OK. I think everyone here knows how you feel about certain areas of London. I'm trying to get some info here for my trip, which is why I started this thread, so not to be mean at all, but are you going to keep saying comments about how much you hate the place?

    If so, could you please start your own thread, thanks. Actaully, you had started your own thread stating your comments a while back.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    "bloody" isn't commonly used as a profanity in US, but the "d" word is. :)
     
  21. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    runsw/scissors, I'm collaborating w/ a travel company who'll come up w/ the itinerary, so I don't know if I have any say of where I fly in if I go w/ this travel company.
     
  22. Samothrace

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    That isn't what I meant by resting. I meant..build in a day to your travel time to be out of wack. You go and sleep at whatever 'bedtime' is that time zone. Traveling from california to the uk..you'll easily lose a day of time sitting on a plane. If that makes sense at all. So if you want your actual trip to be 7 days there..plan like 8-9 to allow air time.
     
  23. Samothrace

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    I'll defend Hartepool. I can understand why you wouldn't like London and why other people wouldn't understand. When you are from the UK the allure of the city isn't as ooh and agh. My ex is from England, and London was so irritating to him. He was from Cleethorpes.

    That aside, London is only one part of the UK..and really is a culture all on it's own. Different parts of England have a completely different feel, just like the United States. England has all kinds of accents, but the one people from the states associate with England..is usually the cockney accent.

    Anyway! Must sees for me in London as a tourist:
    British Museum.::dreamy if you are a geek like me::
    The London Eye. Beautiful views of the city
    Tower of London b/c the beef eaters are fun and cheeky
    Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus.
    St. Pauls Cathedral

    The around the corner places. Stuff you don't find in a tourist book. Just walk and see what you find :) But of course..be aware of where you are and people around you. They will spot you as American before you know it.

    Eat the candy! it's yuuum! Some days all I want is a curly wurly or a kinder egg. Best candy to me ever!

    Find and ASDA's and see what American store it reminds you of. haha!

    if you can get out of the city..
    Bath! BEAUTIFUL!
    Stonehenge is a must!
    Any of the countryside really. Not anywhere near where you will be..but northern England, Cumbria is just beautiful! Words can't really describe it.
     
  24. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Nov 10, 2009

    Thank you for the info Samothrace.
     

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