Unexpected London 12/13
It is strang how I got to London over New Years holidays season. I saw one friend published on FB if someone would like free ticket to London. Most of comments were like can you give us 2 tickets, can I changed dates, etc. My comment was I’m in call me on number … So she really called me and explained what was the deal here Her colleague had a child with an Englishman. After the separation, the child stayed with his mother in Slovenia. He wanted to visit his father over the holidays but because he was 13 years old he needed an escort. Adria Airways offered this service for a ticket of € 400. With the low-cost Easyjet, however, the two tickets were € 200. So it was worth buying someone a ticket to take Sasha to London. After we agreed I’ll do it with parents, I informed boss about the vacation and called my colleague in London if he had a place for me.
Below is a summary of the events and links to a daily description of the events:
• 23.12. Arrival to London
• 24.12. First sightseeing of London
• 25.12. Christmas in London
• 26.12. Boxing day in London
• 27.12. Another slow day in London
• 28.12. Museum Day
• 29.12. East London
• 30.12. Coast and ćevapi
• 31.12. Market Day and End of the Year
• 01.01. Entering 2013
• 02.01. Return home
GBP: EUR is 1: 1,25, but in reality you never get that exchange rate. The worst exchange is at the exchange office, then the withdrawal at the ATM – pay attention to which option you pick and there is comission for withdrawal, best is paying with the card – nothing remains and a fairly favorable rate.
To / from Stansted Airport you have the option of a round trip train of around £ 40 and a bus of around £ 20, there are also some buses if you buy in advance even as low as £ 5. Taxi can be up to £ 100.
London is huge and you will need to use public transport many times. That’s why I suggest buying an Oyster card (similar to Ljubljana’s urban card – cheaper than individual ticket and easier to use)
The bus is the slowest, but also the cheapest, it brings you closest to your desired location (£ 1.35) and night buses are running all night. You also will see most of city from the bus.
Underground / DLR is a fast connection, expensive, depending on the start and end zones (2.1 and 2.6 for 2 and 3 zones respectively). However, it occasionally stops before the final end, because of strike also be careful while there is not just one path for a particular line.
The train – especially for distant parts of London – is the most expensive. Outside London it is even extremely expensive. Is it easiest to pass without paying?
Taxi – Traditional blacks are desperately expensive, depending on part of the day (approx. £ 5 to £ 10 per mile). There are taxis that you call and are about a quarter cheaper.
Car – it OK to drive around the outskirts and out of city; otherwise in the cit y parking is 4GBP, you pay some polution tax £ 10 / day for entry to the Emissions Center and the petrol is approx £ 1.35 / l
The link where you can find all the info related to traffic – http://www.tfl.gov.uk
In 11 days all transports costs were around 100 EUR – 80 GBP
Lots of parks and museums are in London. Good new is that all have free entrance. Except for certain places. The museums described above can show a bit what you can expect. If you don’t know what to do you can easily spend 2h + in the museum. Parks are also a good place to get away from the hustle and bustle. But you decide which works best for you.
Museum Page – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_museums_in_London
Parks Page – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parks_and_open_spaces_in_London
There are many other sights to see while walking. What kind of facilities have an annual open day. You can have some guided tours or tour buses, but I am not a fan of this. If you would like to see paid sites then the London Pass is my proposal http://www.londonpass.com/ where you get a quantity discount …
If you are a girl and shopping is something for you, you will enjoy it in London, but unfortunately here I can’t help.
Food and drink
Ideal would be if you are staying somewhere where you can cook. Breakfast is usually a toast. An English breakfast is something more ofa lunch for me (beans, eggs, sausages, ham, tomatoes, mushrooms?). You can cook some pasta or whatever for lunch. Snacking in the middle of day can be fastfood (cheeseburger at McDonalds for 1GBP, otherwise it adds up to a quick £ 5). There is a chain of pubs that have very competitive prices (beer + burger 5GBP) Wetherspoon – http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk. London range in food choice is huge. When I was first there with a Russian, hundreds of pounds for lunch or dinner for our group was usual. Of course, we have to mention the stores here, Tesco and Sainsbury’s. In smaller shops, prices vary by about as much as the pound is stronger than the euro. In suburbs there are bigger centers where you go for bigger purchases. Then there are the private shops, which are usually kept by Indians and work almost always but are up to 50% more expensive. The drink is not cheap, you can find beer from just over £ 2 to £ 5, in the store for around £ 1. Again, it depends on what suits you.
At the moment, the weather is quite warm, about 10 degrees and very variable. Changes occur several times daily between the sun, clouds and rain. Constantly it is a little humid, serious rainfalls are rare, and the sun comes up in short intervals. When the wind blows, the cold can show its strength.
When I was in the summer it was quite sunny and warm but slightly lower than in continental Europe.
So you can follow the hourly forecasts – http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2643743
Clothing and footwear
Choose the dress suitable for the weather. It doesn’t have to be too warm, best would be combination fleece and over anorak. Also gloves and a hat/cap to wear is not a bad idea.
Wear light shoes that are comfortable as you are likely gonig to walk a lot. Also if they are waterproof and easy to clean would be bonus.
Fortunately, I spent both visits in London with acquaintances, which made it extremely inexpensive for me every time. But London have a great choice, again pick what suits you.
Here again I would like to thank Petra and Boštjan. I hope I wasn’t a demanding guest. Then Alex for a ticket. Of course, to everyone else for a good company in London (Martin, Vesna, Damjan, Nina)