London (report)

Old Jul 12th, 2002, 07:09 AM
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London (report)

I have promised to post here a report of my short romantic trip to London and Paris. Here it is. Those who thought I was crazy do not have to read further. I also apologize for my grammar.
Note: We have been in both cities before so we didn't go to museums but instead mostly walked and absorbed atmosphere. This is definitely not a trip for first-timers at either city.

I have decided to make the trip a surprize to my wife. She knew that we would go somewhere but had no idea where. As she later said she thought that I would take her either to Adirondack (forrest) or to Motreal/Quebec. So I just put her in a car and started driving towards airport. Possible destinations were narrowed as we went through each fork in the road. It was fun watching her trying to guess. Finally we arrived to the airport, parked the car at long term parking and took a shuttle to terminal. Only when we approached Virgin Atlantic counter she realised that we were going to London. She was happily surprised. When I told her that we would also go to Paris she looked completely happy. But... my best laid plans nearly came to a grind. The flight was overbooked and they closed the flight four people behind us. It was 1:45 before flight!!! While all tickets say to come 2 hours in advance I have never seen any airline actually close its flight so early. I usually come to airport 1 hour in advance for international and 30-40 min for domestic. I guess, I will have to change that habit now.
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 07:10 AM
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Anyway, they didn't have any economy class seats so they gave us "Premium Economy" - their name for a business class.
After reading this forum I tried Ambien (sleeping pill) for the first time. 5 mg tablet worked perfectly. Next thing I remembered was landing. We arrived to London at ~10:30 am, 5:30 EST time, so we didn't have any jetlag. There were no lines at passport control and about 11 am we already had our luggage. Now we needed to get to Waterloo station to drop it to "Left Luggage" office. I took an advice of this forum and took Express train. It was a big mistake. Transfer from Paddington to tube is very long and time consuming and then there are 10 station before Waterloo. It took us almost and hour and a half instead of 50 min directly by tube. I wouldn't advice anyone to take the express unless they need to go somewhere near Paddington. We dropped our luggage at about 12:30.
Then we went walking. First we went to London Eye since it was very close. The line looked long but actually passed in 25 min. I think it was well worth the time. After London Eye we went across Waterloo Bridge towards Trafalgar Square, then through St.James Park to Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey/Parlament. That took nearly 5-5.5 hours. Along the way we had lunch at a very cozy restaurant "Sherlock Holmes". Then we walked back to the station and took 8:20 train to Paris.
No problems with the train. Very nice, clean, easy to sleep on. Very restful.
We arrived in Paris at 11:30 pm, took a cab to our hotel. I reserved Louvre Forum hotel based on Fodors recommendations. The hotel was great. Next to Louvre, very clean, quite big rooms, even though reviews sadi that rooms were small (I guess they compared them to US hotels). Just $79/night. We still had some energy left so we dropped bags and went for a walk along Seine.
For the next two days we just walked and walked and walked. We went only to one museum - Rodin, since it is my favorite. We went up to Eifel Tower, up on Notre Dame, etiher than that we just walked from Louvre to the Arc, to Monmartre to Sacre Coeur church, from Invalides to Eifel tower, small street in Latin Quater, etc., etc. In evenings we went to Latin Quater for dinner. There is a place there with a lot of small streets with one restaurant after another. It is near Rue Mouffetard. One restaurant "Jardins Artemis" was espessially good. I strongly recommend it.

On Sunday we took 8:07 train back to London, and spent half day at the Tower. About 3:30 we took a tube to the airport for our 6:30 flight.

I have to say that the trip was great. The only bad thing was having to go to work on Monday.
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 07:35 AM
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So how did your wife rate it.......did she have fun. I think you will definitely have some suprised people.


Old Jul 12th, 2002, 08:04 AM
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I don't know about your wife...but you would get the highest score in my husband book!!! Lucky lady!!!
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 08:23 AM
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She loved it. Her only complain was that she didn't want to leave.
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 01:22 PM
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