My favourite places in London

Old Jan 11th, 2014, 08:14 AM
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Your 'pedantry' adds interesting perspectives Patrick! What a burden for the son to carry - to perhaps believe that he was the cause of his father's death and his mother's determined and never-ending mourning. Poor man.

Now, under the clear light of the Dubai sun, the "Oh that's Albert ... he just went off and died" does not really seem funny. In the moment, the serious Irish accent of the driver, eyebrows touching the hairline, both hands lifted high from the steering wheel to demonstrate limitations of the self-appointed tour guide (exacerbated by jet lag / sleepless night / here we are in London feelings) reduced us to the kind of giggles where you end up gasping for air.
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Old Jan 11th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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What a burden for the son to carry - to perhaps believe that he was the cause of his father's death and his mother's determined and never-ending mourning. Poor man>>

both Victoria and Albert were very hard on "Bertie" for the whole of his life as he never lived up to the very high standards they set him. Whether that contributed to the dissolute life he led we'll never know of course, but it is true that Victoria blamed him for his father's death, though according to wiki] the doctors called it typhoid, not cholera as i had thought.
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Old Jan 11th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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Kovsie,

Sometimes (quite often actually) my siblings, a few certain friends, two aunts I can think of and I can be the worst gigglers at unintended deadpan humour, especially when it is unexpected and unintended, or when trying to suppress laughter.
I absolutely see the circumstantial humour in what the Irish cabbie said, and had I been there probably would have get out a guffaw. I found it funny on first read of the report and I still do, lol !

When a group of the above mentioned friends or relatives get together, we are in pain from aching sides.
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 03:20 AM
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Mathieu: What a blessing it is to be totally helpless with laughter! My family also has the knack ...

Annhig: I do not know much about the history of England's royalty, but from the little I know, it seems that Queen Victoria was a good mother in the worst possible sense of the word -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20782442
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 03:54 AM
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hi kovsie,

None of that article would come as much of a surprise to most brits, though I'm not sure about Bertie having been a more loving parent than his mother - his son, George V, when taxed with why he was so hard on his children, reputedly replied that that was how he'd been brought up, and it hadn't done him any harm.

His son, George VI, was the opposite and appears to have been very loving to his 2 daughters, Lillibet and Margaret.
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 04:36 AM
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And this is the king that we saw in the film The King's Speech - right? Interesting!
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 04:46 AM
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Thanks Kovsie, I hadn't planned to write a trip report about Paris but I do encourage you to visit that city - superficially or not! I had a great time. Cycling around was a good way to see the centre of the city - especially on a Sunday when there is less traffic on the road.
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 11:36 AM
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And this is the king that we saw in the film The King's Speech - right? Interesting!>>

well done, kovsie - go to the top of the history class.
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Old Jan 17th, 2014, 11:23 PM
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Kovsie,

Isn't it wonderful to be able to go to Oxford for work?
You are so lucky to have a week - I managed a day there in December 2012 - my only serious commitment was for around 1.5 hours at a Conference, so from an early train up from London, we had time for a walk along the Canal, a full English Breakfast, a visit to the Ashmolean and a wonderful wander up Broad Street to the Bridge of Sighs. The rest of the family saw more while I was Conferencing, and it was completely dark when we caught the train back to London - but it was a fabulous day! I envy you having a whole week - and from my previous experiences in the Pacific and USA, work often means that you are with people who can give you the inside scoop on places to see and things to do, intensifying the whole experience and compensating for the limited free time!
I look forward to reading your report!
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Old Jan 18th, 2014, 03:42 AM
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bendigo: Yes I AM really counting my blessings.
You packed much into one special day, and you still have the memories!
Concerning people with insider knowledge: this forum provides such a wealth of patient people with great suggestions. I have had excellent feedback from people who know Oxford and its history very well.
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Old Jan 18th, 2014, 03:46 AM
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Sorry bendigo, still wanted to add this link ... if you are interested in more from Oxford:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-in-oxford.cfm

Just read throuhg flanner's posts - what a wealth of knowledge.
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Old Jan 19th, 2014, 02:58 PM
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Thank you kovsie for the great report. I admire the way you went with the flow and certainly saw sights but weren't paralyzed by an itenerary or to do list. London is part of my upcoming trip in September and despite my ridiculous amount of overplanning I am determined to learn from you and relax and go with the flow.

One question came immediately to mind. You emphasized the importance of a daily journal during the trip to remember it but I don't recall you mentioning taking any pictures. Did you not take pictures and if not was that a function of the weather or a conscious decision to improve the quality of your trip.

Thanks again
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 03:44 AM
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Thanks fables! We all have our own individual travel style, you will find your own pace and do what works for you.

I do take pictures. However, I find that when I really want to experience something, the camera tends to get in the way. I sometimes watch tourists, taking pictures of themselves and each other in front of the fountain /statue/view. And I wonder: did they even notice the place, or are they just marching from one photo op to the next.
But yes, one of my wishes is to become a more instinctive and effective photographer. I adore good travel photos!
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 05:16 AM
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Thanks for a wonderful report. Makes me want to go back more than ever to my favorite city!
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:44 AM
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Kovsie,

My daughter and I are traveling to London in August so I really enjoyed your descriptive travelogue. We are doing lots of research but I have many questions since this is our first trip to England - so excited!
Upon landing at Heathrow (from Boston) how long does it generally take to clear security, collect checked baggage, etc. We are thinking of hiring a private car to take us to our London hotel and not sure about timing.
Also, traveling to the Cotswolds after London and want to rent a car - my adult daughter is willing to drive. From what I've read, there is a Hertz rental agency on the outskirts of Oxford. How long a ride to Chipping Campden and what is the traffic like?
Thanks for any input from fellow travelers.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 07:27 AM
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garnett14. the car hire companies seem to allow 45 minutes from landing to meeting you. As you can see above, this was not enough for us. But I think - usually - it should be enough. I would allow more time. As I said above, it is still an hour's drive into London. It would be nice to grab a quick coffee before you get into the car. If you land on Terminal 5, there is a Costa Coffee just as you exit.
Concerning your other questions, it would be better if you start a new thread. Fodorites are incredibly generous with their time and advice, and they will support you through the whole planning stage for your trip. People reading here will be more focused on London.
Happy planning!
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 10:45 AM
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Kovsie,
Thank you for that information. I think I will probably allow an hour to be safe and have time for that cup of coffee.
And I will repost my Cotswold question under a new thread.
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