LONDON & PARIS – MAY 2011
THU MAY 05
This is a 10-day trip to London and Paris.
In the course of researching airfares for Paris, at the time flights to Paris were $200 more than flights to London, and the Eurostar was ~$90 round-trip. A two-city trip seemed a good idea.
Departure of USAir 728 was delayed after boarding for about 40 minutes due to some sort of non-specific computer maintenance. Also, this flight seemed to be scheduled pretty late – 9:50 pm – very late considering that is nearly 3 a.m. UK time. I suppose they did this so that the arrival (10 am) would be after rush hour, but that is overkill. If it had been scheduled an hour and a half earlier and on time, we still would not have gotten to the tube till after 9 am – after the real crush.
Other than that, the flight was as usual – a few hours of off-on sleep but nothing substantial. As I get older, my ability to sleep on a plane gets worse.
FRI MAY 06
Arrived about 40 minutes late. Went through control and customs quickly -- we never check luggage. Topped up our Oyster cards, and jumped on the Piccadilly Line. Serious delays due to a “defective train” further up the line. Eventually ran out of patience and changed to the Victoria line at Green Park. (Should have gotten off at Hammersmith...but I guess we were hoping for improvement.) Finally arrived at St. Pancras. Got some cash at the ATM to add to the money we brought (left over from our last trip), and checked into our hotel nearly two hours later than we had expected -- The Alhambra, on Argyle Street less than a block from the station.
We picked this hotel for location -- we are taking the 6:53 Eurostar to Paris tomorrow. Other than that, I do not recommend it. They put us on the third floor in a room in a building across the street -- no lift, no telephone. We booked this room in January -- there was no reason for the third-story room.
Lunch at the Lucas Arms -- a very nice pub a few blocks away, with decent, inexpensive food. Then a self-guided walk around Bloomsbury from one of the Frommer’s books (can’t remember which one). Before we leave I enhance this type of walk with additional text researched online.
By this time we were completely exhausted, so we went back to the hotel for a couple hours sleep. Dinner at the Lucas Arms and then to bed. Due to the great fear of missing our early train, I set two alarm clocks and also had a wake-up “call” arranged (not really a call, since we had no phone ... a person knocked on our door in the morning).
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Trip Report - 10 Days in London and Paris
LONDON & PARIS – MAY 2011