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London for Absolute Beginners

Some random points from our visit to London last month.IMG_1186

  • Taking the cheap train from Gatwick to London makes a whole lot a stops and is probably not worth the trouble
  • If you are at all claustrophobic and get cold shivers from the elevator scenes in Speed, you certainly want to avoid the Covent Garden tube station at all costs. Only way out are crowded elevators or 193 steps.
  • If you're German by nature and get to Buckingham Palace 90 minutes before the Changing of the Guard, the friendly bobbies will make sure no late-coming tourists will cut in front of you.
  • The employment profile of the hospitality industry in London is dominated by Eastern Europeans. Pub food is, however, tastier and less expensive than we had been led to believe.
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  • Rob Roy is a Scottish pub near Paddington where you can be served haggis, if your pipe-learning son is so inclined and you can wait for the cook to come in for the evening shift.
  • People in London are colorful in every sense of the word. Quite refreshing.
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  • The streets and train stations are impeccably clean, even by German standards.
  • The tube stations seem to have been planned to ensure the longest possible walk when changing lines.
  • Greenwich is a bit out of the way but a nice quiet base to stay. The DLR gets you to central London in 20 minutes, and Sainsbury's Local will meet all your basic food and drink needs. Plus you can head to the Royal Observatory and stand on the Prime Meridian.
  • The Tower of London lives up to the hype. The Making of Harry Potter studio tour is expensive, but worth it if you're into Harry Potter.
  • EasyJet is a cheap airline in every sense of the word.
  • We'll be back.
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