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Trip Report yk's slightly off the beaten path London Trip Report (incl how I survived Tube strike; and dinner with someone famous!)

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Hello Fodorites-

I just got off the plane earlier today after a 6-day solo trip to London. Thanks to everyone who helped me plan my trip, made suggestions, and answered my questions.

Background and Preparation
Briefly about me. I'm in my early 30s and married. I lived in London for 1 year in the early 1990s, and since have visited London no less than a dozen times. I have visited most of the major tourist sites, so this time I focused on some of the less visited, less mentioned places.

I planned this trip a month ago, when I found out I had a week off in early September. DH couldn't take the time off, and since my birthday was in August, I decided to treat myself a solo birthday trip. I requested an upgrade for the outbound trip when I bought my ticket a month ago, and thankfully, the upgrade came through 3 days before I departed.

Most of my prior trips to Lodnon were very short, mostly 2-3 days. This time I stayed put in London for 5 full days.

I enjoy going to art museums, and before I left the US, I pre-booked several exhibitions including the ones at National Gallery, Tate Modern, and Royal Academy of Arts.

As far as guidebooks is concerned, the only one I brought was the Blue Guide to Museums and Galleries of London, recommended by Fodorite noe. I liked it though wish it were lighter in weight. I also had my indispensible Streetwise map.

Day 0
Dallas to London

As I've mentioned, my upgrade to Business class went through ($300 + 25k miles). AA operates a 3-class 777 for this route. This was my first time flying Business class, and gee, I can get used to it! The food was good, the service was great, and the seat obviously was much more comfortable than economy.

Our plane arrived 15 minutes late into Gatwick at around 8:15am.

BTW, before I left, I found out there was gonna be a 3-day Tube strike in London, beginning the evening before I arrived. I was hoping they would cancel the strike the very next day, but alas, the strike was still very much alive when I arrived Tuesday morning on Sept 4th.

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