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Moving to London for 1 Year: Tips on what trips to take, and when?

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So I'll be attending LSE for 1 year starting this fall and I am really looking forward to taking out some time for travel.

I would really appreciate if you guys could take a look at this and tell me when would be the best time to go (taking into account special festivals or cheap tickets/hotels and whatnot), and which trips would best be done as short trips on the weekend or during UK holidays, what would be better as a longer excursion, etc.

I'm going to have one month off from Dec 9 to Jan 9 and another month off during Easter. I'm also thinking about leaving early to travel for 2-3 weeks this September, and it's still an option to travel around next summer. But I will definitely be in London from late September 2011 to late June 2012.

Here is a list of places I would love to go to (obviously I can't go to ALL of them but would like to do some!)

-Moscow and/or St Petersburg [I know some Russian]
-Odessa, Ukraine (random, but my family is originally from here)
-Paris (a friend can meet me for a weekend)
-Vienna -- can stay with a relative

and I'm also interested in any easy-to-make UK excursions, like Stonehenge, Bath, etc.

As for what kind of trips I usually take, I'm interested in ancient art (especially Near Eastern) & 19th century lit, and often plan my trips around eating at good restaurants, or going to performances (almost anything.. musicals/opera/rock concerts/acoustic/ballet).


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