Old Aug 29th, 2001, 08:38 PM
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I really want to take at least a week's vacation in the next two weeks away from it all here in what has become (in my mind) a very dull existence in Edmonton, Canada. A friend is trying to convince me to book a last minute flight on the latest Air Canada sale to London. I've never been there (only Paris and loved it), have always been intrigued by her, but just can't get excited enough to do it solo. Is London really the buzzing and fascinating place that my friend claims it is? If somebody can convince me, I'm outta here! Or it may be over to Montreal for a long weekend.
Old Aug 30th, 2001, 01:32 AM
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I just moved to London from San Francisco and am completely in love with this city. Most of the time I have been alone so I can vouch for being here solo and there is so much to see and do that you may never want to leave. It really depends on what you want to do so feel free to contact me personally if you wish, but I have had fun just wandering the cobbled roads, soaking up the sights and sounds, visiting street markets, hanging out in the pubs and winebars, discovering the neighborhoods (Soho, Chinatown, Islington, Covent Garden) and eating good food (the best Indian food you'll find and wonderful cream cakes!). I've been on the London Eye (the giant ferris wheel overlooking the Thames), taken daytrips to Hampton Court Palace and Bath and spent entire days in Hampstead (romping on the Heath or shopping in the village). There are world-class museums, great music venues (I recently saw the Eagles), beautiful walks and wild, wacky neighborhoods. Let me know what else you want to know as I could go on forever....and don't pass up the chance to do this trip!
Old Aug 30th, 2001, 03:00 AM
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London has over 6,000 restaurants
London has 5,245 pubs & Bars
London has 1,200 hotels, of which 300 have full restaurant facilities 16% of the UKís restaurants are located in London

London boasts 31 Michelin-starred restaurants, more than any other city outside Paris.

London restaurants offer 60 different cuisines :African Ethiopian, Eritrean, Algerian, Sudanese, Nigerian, Tanzanian Caribbean, Jamaican, Guyana
North America Tex-mex, Mexican,
Latin American Argentinian, Brazilian, Colombian, Cuban, Peruvian,
British Modern and Classic British
European Austrian, Swiss, German, Czech, Georgian, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, French, Italian, Belgian, Portugese, Swedish, Danish, Spanish,
Chinese Sichuan, Cantonese, Beijing,
Middle Eastern Moroccan, Lebanese, Tunisian, Epyptian,
Asian Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, Afghan
Miscellaneous Burmese, Irish, Montenegran, South African, Tibetan, Australian, New Zealand, Jewish
Oriental Japanese, Thai, Cambodian, Korean, Malaysian, Indonesian, Mongolian

2000 parks and public spaces
Number of Historic Gardens 33
Number of Ancient Monuments 149
Number of Listed Buildings 19,476
Listed C of E Churches 567
Number Historic Hotels 269
Number of Museums 300
Number of Cinema screens 600
Number of Theatres and Music Halls 108
Number of Swimming Pools 144
Zoological and Wildlife atractions 18

Approved Country Parks 3
Number of Historic Buildings and Monuments (total) 123

ATTRACTIONS by Number of Visitors
British Museum
National Gallery
Madame Tussaudís
Tower of London
Tate Modern
Tate Gallery
Natural History Museum
Chessington World of Adventures Science Museum
Westminster Abbey
London Zoo
St Paulís Cathedral
National Portrait Gallery
Victoria & Albert Museum
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
London Aquarium
Hampton Court Palace
St Martin's-in-the-Fields
National Maritime Museum
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Photographers Gallery
Imperial War Museum
Westminster Cathedral
Tower Bridge Experience Museum of London
Buckingham Palace

Old Aug 30th, 2001, 07:13 AM
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hi gordie,

i agree with gabi. i've just moved here from honolulu, and there are TONS of things to do. i hve a pen-pal from edmonton, and she's always complaining that her biggest thrill in edmonton is the west edmonton mall (is that true?) or a club. at the very least, it's great to have the london experience, to be in a different culture. hope you make it here. in sept you can even get a ticket to see buckingham palace from the inside. (i keep meaning to have a look myself).

like gabi, pls feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. quite a lot of friends and family are coming to visit all of a sudden so i have been looking at quite a lot of things to do. gabi, if you find anything else cool to do, pls let me know!
Old Aug 30th, 2001, 07:46 AM
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I lived in London in the early '80's and also loved this city. Such a great place to walk and people watch. Wonderful parks, fabulous public transportation. So many great places to visit outside of London too. I'd go for it!
Old Aug 30th, 2001, 07:53 AM
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I'm sure you're convinced by now that London is FABULOUS!!! Let me just add...
The first time I went it was part of a larger trip with my sister. She wanted to see London, I wanted to see Paris, so we compromised. I had NEVER had any interest in England. I've been going back twice a year since and I ache for it all the time! Trust those of us who say you'll fall in love with London and never be bored!
Let us know what you decide to do!
Old Aug 30th, 2001, 07:56 AM
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I visit London on my own about once or twice a year. I've yet to be bored. After several trips to see the must-dos, I now get to really explore - small museums, special exhibits, odd things (like the Severs' house), untouristed places (Richmond Park), and even just plain shopping.

On your own, YOU get to pick what you want to do - if portrait painting bores you to tears but you can tell the difference between oolong and pekoe, skip the National Portrait Gallery and go to the Tea Museum.

Old Sep 1st, 2001, 10:05 AM
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Well folks, you all convinced me that I should travel to London and I am, well WAS extremely excited about it. I booked my vacation time for the next 3 weeks and I got a great deal at the St. Giles hotel for 50GBP ($115 Canadian) a night and booked a room for eight nights.

Now the bad news: A half hour ago I returned from the travel agent to book and pay for my flight to depart on Sept. 4 (I was told I only needed 72 hours advance payment) and found out that the company who they actually get the tickets from are closed on Saturdays and I cannot do it. They suggested I book a flight for Sept. 10 but I went back to the St. Giles hotel website and they have now raised their early to mid September rates to 69GBP a night (about $160 Canadian) which would add just under $400 to my 8 day trip. No way!! The agony I am going through now cannot be described in any way. I am stuck here in Edmonton for my vacation!! Waaa...

Thank you for the advice, anyway.
Old Sep 1st, 2001, 11:29 AM
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A couple of tips for future travel.
When you find a good hotel deal on the the web site book it. Hotel policy usually is to take your credit card to hold the reservation and you can cancel up to 24 hours before arrival.
Air Line fares are usually cheaper on the Air Line web site. They will charge your credit card and the reservation is usually non-refundable. The air line will issue you a hard copy ticket or give you an e-ticket which requires you to show up at the airport with photo ID and they will issue you, your boarding pass. I usually call up the air line at their 800 number to check rates before deciding on how I am going to purchase my air line ticket.
Hope this advice will help you with future travels.

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