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London LONDON - March 2006


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I just discovered this very old (2006!), very lengthy trip report when we flew from Italy to London to celebrate by sister's 50th birthday. HERE's the link to the blog post.

We were living in Italy at the time, and my sister wanted to do something special for her 50th birthday. She'd already visited us in Umbria, so she decided London would be the scene of her birthday celebrations.

I was in charge of accommodations, and although I've always stayed in the area around Victoria Station, this time I picked the Pembridge Palace Hotel in Bayswater. IN the end I really liked the neighborhood and would stay there again.

Art and I got super cheap airfare on EasyJet, flying out of Rome's smaller Ciampino airport into Gatwick, and my sister also flew into Gatwick, so we met at the airport - super easy! When she visited us in Italy her plane was delayed in Amsterdam and we spent all day waiting for her to arrive - this meet-up went much more smoothly.

We were there during the first week of March, so the weather was cold and cloudy most of the time, but we did a lot of walking which kept us warm. Because my sister had never been to London we did all the touristy things like visiting the Tower, The British Museum, Buckingham Palace (this was before you could tour the inside), Oxford St and Leicester Sq. One day, because we saw an advert for 3D, we went to a movie - where we discovered that the English do their popcorn sweet or salty - with no butter!

We visited the Portobello Rd Market, Westminster Abbey, and took a cruise on the Thames. We shopped a little, but not too much – my sister likes to shop more than I do, but she's very focused. I, on the other hand, just love wandering through shops and grocery stores wherever we travel. My sister's a VERY – seriously! - picky eater. Re-reading my blog post now it doesn't seem as if it was difficult for her to find something to eat. She usually travles with a bag a crackers and a jar of peanut butter. She brought it with her to Italy. Seriously. She ate it in the car, while we ate in a seaside restaurant in Ancona – where SHE has specifically asked to go! I was glad this trip to London went a little smoother.

My sister is deathly afraid of heights, so she had no interest in going up in the London Eye. We stayed a few extra days after she left, and went up in the Eye – not as beautiful a day as I would have liked, but still very, very cool. We also visited – for the first time! - The Victoria and Albert Museum, also known as the V&A, or “England's Attic”. It's now become my favorite museum in London.

I don't remember what the exchange rate was when we took this trip in 2006, but the euro was already pretty high – maybe $1.30 -1.50?? The pound was probably higher. London's an expensive city, but I was satisfied with our budget accommodations and happy to pay admittance to The Tower of London. The British Museum is FREE – every day! London is my second favorite city in the world – right after New York City, and I was happy for this excuse to visit.

The entire (long!) trip report is HERE.
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