Tag Archives: United Kingdom

One Week in London Itinerary

10 Dec

Day 1, Tuesday:  

Leave for London in AM.  Arrive in London in PM.

Day 2, Wednesday:

Walk around London

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Day 3, Thursday:

Walk around London (again)

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Day 4, Friday:  

Trip to Paris for the day.  Booked Eurostar and Hop On Hop Off bus through Evan Evans Sightseeing Tours (Note: booking through a tourist agency was way cheaper for us than booking the Eurostar alone.  However, we also only booked the night before when Eurostar prices were really high).  We also bought metro cards when we arrived.   The Hop On Hop Off bus takes over two hours so to skip a lot of the delay we utilized the metro to get to a lot of the sites.

Some of the sites we visited include:  the Eiffel Tour (we didn’t go up), Le Louvre (we went inside and ran straight for the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa), Catedrale Notre Dame de Paris (we walked inside), Arc de Triomphe (walked underneath it), Opera National de Paris (only the outside), and we had lunch on the Champs-Elysses.   The absolute highlight of our trip was seeing the Eiffel Tour at night.  We had crepes and wine while watching the Eiffel Tour sparkle (at night, the  Eiffel Tour sparkles the first five minutes of every hour – after that, the lights are just the normal, beautiful lights).      Also, the best viewing spot is outside of Trocedero station.

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Extra Helpful Tips: (1) I would not attempt to go see the Catacombs if you only have one day.  It seems like the wait is hours any time you go.   (2) If you are planning this day trip in advance, book your Eiffel Tour fast pass tickets online.  We booked our day trip the night before so the Eiffel Tour tickets were already sold out. (3) Wear comfortable walking shoes.  If you are only doing a day trip, you will walk a lot!

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Saturday, October 26:

9am Train to Cambridge.  Arrived at 10am.  Walked around Cambridge, UK.  Visited John’s College and King’s College.  Had lunch near the river.  Shopped at the markets.

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We were back in London by 3pm.  When we got back to London we went straight for the NFL rally in Trafalgar Square (one of the reasons we were in London was for the NFL game that Sunday).  Afterwards, we walked around Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street, and then we went to Covent Garden for cookies and macaroons.

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For dinner we went to Brick Lane for Indian food and then afterwards we went to a speakeasy – Callooh Callay.

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Sunday, October 27: 

For breakfast we ate at Up Market near Brick Lane (HIGHLY recommend).  Afterwards, we shopped at Up Market and at Spitalsfield Market.

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In the late afternoon we headed to Wembley for the NFL game (Jaguars vs. 49ers).  When that game was over, we went to Sports Bar & Grill at Victoria Station to watch more American football games.  At the very end of the night, we returned back to Buckingham Palace to take pictures at night.

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Monday, October 28:

We spent the morning walking around London some more: going inside St. Paul’s Cathedral, seeing the financial district, etc.  In the early afternoon we left London and arrived home in the evening.

Enjoy London (and Paris)! 

A trio for London

21 Jul

Great post by Angelina! Check out more posts at http://angelinascasa.wordpress.com!

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With so many new hotels opening in London this year, it’s hard to decide on where’s the best place to lay your head.
To help, here’s my top three, plus a little insider knowledge for each.

Best for thrill-seekers: ST ERMINS HOTEL, ST JAMES’S PARK

When I was invited to stay in the newly renovated St Ermins Hotel, once the home of spies and espionage, I imagined dimly-lit corridors and dark corners to hide out in. Belting my trenchcoat, I snuck off to St James’s Park. All I was lacking was an illicit tryst.

But I couldn’t have been more mistaken. This may have been a hub for MI6 throughout the 1930s and 1940s, but without reading the history books, you’d never have guessed it. Prim government building it is not.

Stepping into the hotel entrance, I was bowled over by its sheer flamboyance. Originally conceived by a Victorian set…

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Shortcut to Europe: European Union Embassies’ Open House

5 Jun

A month ago was Passport DC’s “Shortcut to Europe: European Union Embassies’ Open House.”  As the name implies, the EU countries open their embassies to visitors.  The following is my review of the embassies I visited:

BELGIUM:  Free beer and chocolates – what could be better than that?  Must visit!

CROATIA:  Kind of just a walk-in, walk-out embassy.  We took a cool picture though.

DENMARK:  Tour of ambassador’s residence.  Free cheese and bread.  Ride bikes.  Play with Legos.  A lot fewer tourists due to location so I felt less congested.

FINLAND:  Very eco-friendly building.  The year I went (2010) there was a lot of free food and drinks.  The food was seafood-centric.  The ambassador was there, which is nice since it seems that most of the time the ambassadors do not show up to the event.

HUNGARY:  Beautiful dogs.  Food you can pay for.  Girls dressed in traditional outfits.

ITALY:  Food looked good but you pay for it.  A lot of booths.

NETHERLANDS:  Beautiful ambassador’s residence.  Yummy free cookies.

PORTUGAL:  This was probably my favorite embassy this year.  Beautiful video about the country.  Tour of embassy with tour guide.  Free Portuguese dessert and wine.

SWEDEN:  This is the most beautiful embassy.  It is located on Georgetown’s waterfront.  It is a very bright and open building with windows for walls.  And, the rooftop is amazing – views of the Potomac, Georgetown, Kennedy Center, and Watergate.  They gave away free bags here.  Cookies for sale.

UNITED KINGDOM:  A must visit embassy.  You can tour the property.  When I went in 2010 there was free Pimms (it’s a drink).  Lots of free goodies including a bag I still use today.

I have also visited SLOVAKIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, LIECHTENSTEIN, and AUSTRIA.