Landing in London

As our second trip of 2005, we headed across the pond to England & Wales.  First stop … London! Most flights from the United States to London are scheduled to be overnighters … so you arrive in London first thing ‘tomorrow’ morning … after very little sleep because your body is 6 to 9 hours behind the local London time.  I recommend you just go with the flow on the first day … see what you can, nap if you can … and try to get caught up to the local time as quickly as you can. That said, we only planned on being in London for three days .. and as this was our first trip over the pond … I didn’t know to follow my own advice.  Upon arrival in London, and finding that our room had yet to be cleaned, we checked our bags with the Concierge and off we went to explore.

Entrance to the British Musuem

Entrance to the British Musuem

We were staying in central London in an area we specifically chose because of it’s proximity to the British Museum.   I had been advised by a friend that we might want to visit the museum several times. … and boy … was she right.  The British Museum is immense with room upon room of treasures collected to represent the finest in Human History & Culture.  And best of all … it’s FREE!  In order to not be overwhelmed, I recommend spending a two to three mornings at the museum in different areas … then off to other London attractions in the afternoons.  This way you can really absorb everything you see! One way to explore a big city quickly, and inexpensively, is to buy tickets on the ‘Hop On – Hop Off’ Tour buses.  The buses have either a ‘live’ guide who explains what areas the bus is traveling through and the highlights of what is in those areas … or earphones you can plug in to get the same information.  A complete circuit of the city usually lasts two to three hours and the tickets can be bought for a 24 to 48 hour period.  This gives you lots of time to either take the entire tour and make note of places you want to go back to … or just ‘Hop Off’ if you see something you want to explore immediately.   We did a combination of both …. and quickly realized that we not only got to see the complete city … we also saved ourselves a lot of money on cabs & taxis as we used the buses for most of our transportation.

Thames River Cruise

Thames River Cruise

We did not get to see everything that London had to offer in our short stay and feel like we just got to scratch the surface of all of the things that can be done & seen.  Here is a list of the things we did see and would highly recommend:
The Tower of London – Be careful of the Ghosts of Anne Boleyn and the two little princes in the tower!
East End Ghost Tour – If you are a Jake the Ripper fan … this is a must!
Buckingham Palace – Cheesy I know but the changing of the guard is so iconic!
Thames River Boat Tour – Seeing the city from the river gives you a totally new perspective and, as our boat tour was part of the Hop On Hop Off Bus ticket, it was a really good value.

Categories: Europe

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