London, August 2009


It rained the day we landed and had the chance to experience an “English Summer Evening”. Right after the rains, we went on a nice stroll through the neighborhoods in suburban South Hampton. We tried to do nothing touristy, just the local churches, neighborhood stores and the pub where M’s cousin played chess. We ended the day with dinner at an Indian restaurant. It is true; the curry recipes taste much better in UK than in US.

In the next couple of days, we managed to see Madame Tussauds, London eye, the big red bus, cruise on Thames, Buckingham palace, St. James Park, West Minister Abbey, Big Ben, the Parliament House, Trafalgar square and the National Museum.

We ended our hectic days with a leisure picnic dinner at Hyde Park with food from Mark & Spencer. What’s a London trip without a visit to the pub and yes, the beer was served room temperature.

We also spent an entire day with my best buddy from high-school and her family.

Travel Tips

We stayed in Mercure chain of hotels in London and Paris. Was a good place and worth the $$$. We did not want to carry all of our baggage to Paris, so we checked it in, at the Waterloo station. Later we found that most hotels offer that service as well.

Public transportation is great but pricy too. Staying closer to the attractions can save $$ in transportation.

With younger kids it helps to stay closer to the attractions. We stayed near the London tower.

What can I say about the London cabbies that you already don’t know? Cabs worked out well for us especially at the end of the day with tired kids; as we stayed close to the attractions.

Food is very expensive; so see if you can get a hotel with breakfast included.

Unlike US, there are tons of options for vegetarians.

Google's street view came in handy to check out the place. I would advise not to over do it, like us as the place looked familiar when we went there.
We dined in restaurants a couple of times. For the rest of the meals, we bought food/snacks from Mark and Spencer. The quality, flavor and freshness is unlike anything I’ve seen in US.


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