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Trip report - 4 days in London with 3 generations.

Trip report - 4 days in London with 3 generations.

Old Apr 24th, 2005, 02:36 PM
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Trip report - 4 days in London with 3 generations.

Just returned this afternoon. Trip was with my teenage daughter and my 76 year old mother. Flew BA day flight Boston-Heathrow. Good choice to avoid jet-lag since by the time we got to hotel it was about 9 PM local time and we could go to sleep and start fresh in AM. Only good things to say about BA, even though we flew lowest of the 4 classes. Food was plentiful and largely edible - rather unique for airlines today. Used justairports for ground transportation and arrangements went without problem.

Stayed at Days Inn Westminster (in general area of Victoria Station) as part of Expedia hotel-air package. Hotel was a basic, no frills one but was extremely clean, everything worked, and location was great. Only negative was optional continental breakfast for 5 pounds - I skipped it but daughter and mother described it as gross.

Wednesday took tube to Westminster Abbey - paid for optional guided tour which gave far more English history than I could stand, but church was beautiful. Then onto Parliament, Big Ben and across river to London Eye. Very difficult to find lunch in this area. Ended up having a horrible meal at Manga Cafe near London Eye. Daughter and mother road Eye - hardly any line - while I happened upon a lunchtime free jazz concert at nearby hall.

Next activity was short cruise on Thames. Worth it to see facades of buildings not visible on city streets. Commentary was interesting - not usual hokey stuff on these sorts of tours. Grabbed take-out dinner at tiny Vietnamese restaurant across from hotel.

Wednesday avoided breakfast at hotel by grabbing coffee and pastry at shop near Victoria Station on way to Changing of Guard at Buckingham Palace. It was coincidentally Queen's birthday, so band played "Happ-y Birthday", although she was spending week at Windsor Castle and missed it. Changing of Guard worth seeing so you can say you did, but not high drama or excitement. Then onto Harrods to browse and have tea.

Friday we had reserved a bus day-trip to Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge, Bath. Cathedral was beautiful, Stonehenge impressive, but Roman Baths at Bath could have been skipped. Then endured 3 hour bus ride back to London on a bus with no bathroom. (Golden Tours)

Since by this time grandmother's legs were giving out, Saturday took "Big Bus" - hop on/off tour to see St Paul's Church (great, especially since it was St. George's Day, so there was a somewhat special service at noon which we attended). Then back on Big Bus to Tower of London. Definitely not a place to take someone with any mobility limitations - winding staircases, cobblestones. Woth a visit of an hour or so. Teenage daughter wanted to go to original Hard Rock Cafe - decent hamburgers and very noisy.

Sunday uneventful pick-up by justairports. BA. Planes was totally booked and we were offered $800 each to take 1:30 PM flight. Grandmother refused - this would have gone a long was towards paying off bill.

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Old Apr 24th, 2005, 03:52 PM
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Enjoyed your report, as we've done London with many different generations too. We always take the bump whenever offered by the airlines -- "force" it on our grandmother. She hates it, but we use the excuse that it allows us all to travel more.
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Old Apr 24th, 2005, 04:54 PM
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Thanks for posting. Good to know that BA gives edible food and $800 for bumping. Is that an actual 800 dollars or credit toward your next flight?
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Old Apr 24th, 2005, 06:56 PM
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Great report...you should have sent Grandmother on home without you..am sure she would have arrived safely.
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Old Apr 25th, 2005, 03:57 AM
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It was really $800 per person - not a credit - and they offered it to us in writing. Am trying to forget about it since we paid for hotel and air several months ago - so won't see it on credit card next month. Agreed we should have sent Grandma on her own, but she was so anxious about the situation she probably would have had to test the trip medical insurance when she had a stroke over the thought.
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Nice Report, I try to forget about opportunities that I could not take!
 
Old Jul 26th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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Great report!

Note: the best grub I've found near The Eye is the sandwich bar at the Aquarium. Nothing spectacular, but all highly edible and portable food.
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