A Travellerspoint blog

Pancakes and cousins


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large_5cbd1580-eb1f-11e9-b2b4-05f6a7f1351c.jpgLOL! Gotta love London adverts!On return to London [London-travel-guide-364480], I alighted at the Baker Street station (well, simply because I wanted to) and walked down to Oxford St. I had never really walked down these roads so I'm glad I did - pretty swanky. I passed by the Chiltern which is such a famous dining spot for celebs. It looked like any other dining place though.

I shopped a bit at Superdry and then headed straight to the hostel to pack and change for dinner. Yes, I'd be meeting my cousins for dinner! My cousins have been living in London for the last 5 years but I never managed to meet them. So this time, thought it was high time. We met at The Old Dutch. They loved it. We chatted the night away till 10pm at which time I headed home - and well, heard about the London Bridge attacks.

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Posted by vikramonthemove 17:00 Archived in England Comments (0)

A Tube ramble to the charming town of Chesham


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large_5cc0e610-eb1f-11e9-a1c1-4195dec69b11.jpgA tube what? A ramble! Regulars of my London blog entries will know I'm a massive massive fan of the London Tube Rambles [http://www.londontuberambles.co.uk] site. This is a 3rd party site that gives Londoners and tourist regulars a "trail" in each of the major Tube stops to explore that area or town. As I've been becoming more and more familiar with London, I venture out for a ramble or 2 each trip.

So, with that said, I chose the charmingly quiet town of Chesham [Chesham-travel-guide-1252115] this time. As per the Rambles website, there's a near 4mile distance between stops making this the longest between 2 stops on the London Underground. The scenery was as described. It was rolling hills and a whole lot of green.large_5c9b5cb0-eb1f-11e9-9afd-312a75cc5c41.jpg One could also see the demographic change as we went outside Zone 3. Tourists with their backpacks and Nikon cameras were now replaced by adventure gear wearing bikers and hikers. Plus, the bountiful sun helped.

Tubes run every 30 minutes here, and this is one of the few tube stops that have an adjoining (free to use) toilet as well! The Chesham station was built somewhere in the late 19th century and the original building still stands (including the signal box, water tower and some original photos as well. I walked out of the station and pretty much followed the ramble note for note (although I was a bit concerned at one point when the page wouldn't pull up because I lost wifi connectivity). First order of the day was threading my way through the serpentine stalls of the Saturday Market to the nearest Cafe Nero for a quick bite. Ended up a rather heavy bite (had a cheese toastie).

From there on, I followed the Ramble to a tee: notable places included the free history museum, the George and Dragon pub (still around since the "coaching" days) and then the Meades. I passed by what were once traditional spas (now replaced by petrol stations) and continued on to a quieter leafier part to see the oldest tennis club in the world, as well as the Church where they'd just finished a service.

I retread by Lowndes Park back to the tube stop, and onto London. It was so sunny as hell that my ride back was a mix of people watching on the Tube and taking 5 min power naps.

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Posted by vikramonthemove 17:00 Archived in England Comments (0)

Back in London from Latvia


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large_59f0af10-eb1f-11e9-8ea5-d17b0e9d1e73.jpgLove these banners! And in diff languages too!I was so darn sleepy! Landed in LGW to a fairly quiet immigration queue which I cleared in no time. The killer was the awful wait for the baggage claim. Whilst I'm all a fan of LCCs, Norwegian's expansion into LGW has caused all kinds of chaos and lack of baggage reclaim belts. We all waited a good 30 minutes before our bags started appearing on the carousel. Good thing I booked my easybus 1:30 hrs after arrival into LGW.

I then took the train to the N Terminal where my easybus would meet me. We were packed in like sardines. Took over an hour to get to Earls Court. London being a sunny day, there were lots of people out and about. It looked as hot as the rest but I was told that it had been a rainy spring thus far so the Londoners were only too happy to get some sunshine. It was close to 1pm when I checked in at the YHA but the fusspots didn't let me to my room and quoted the usual "oh, we only let you in at 2pm". Bugger off, I thought and headed into town instead.

I didn't do much except window shop, walk around and take in the usual Bond, Oxford, Regent Street area. I loved the new #londonisopen banners across town, very nice and warm.

Sadly, it would be 2 nights from now that the London Bridge incident would occur. Who knew! :-(

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Posted by vikramonthemove 17:00 Archived in England Comments (0)

Why does every good trip start with that cesspit Gatwick?!


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large_5f4790f0-eb1f-11e9-b997-65cc24ca44bf.jpgThe very cool "smartphone" type TV screens on airbalticI've come to believe that God punishes me for all my sins in life by letting me fly through Gatwick [Gatwick-travel-guide-1254033]. Over the last 10 years, so much has changed in my life - good, bad, ups, downs, etc. The one thing that's been consistent is how sh*t and inefficient this airport is. And needless to say, every time I connect through Gatwick, they're always shuffling airlines and terminals.

I left that London that morning in the wee hours of the day. yes, wee hours. 4am! The Easybus pulled up at 440a and I was in Gatwick by 6a. I schlepped it to the N terminal and caught the train to the S terminal from where my airbaltic would depart. Their counter hadnt opened yet and I was so darn sleepy - sat around there waiting for it to open (seating is so pathetic here).large_5f480620-eb1f-11e9-b2b4-05f6a7f1351c.jpgThe very cool "smartphone" type TV screens on airbalticIt finally did, by 7a. I checked in and thought I could use the BA lounge as airbaltic codeshares this flight with BA. But turns out that they'd let me use the lounge only if I were flying a oneworld or oneworld codeshare flight. Shame!

headed to Pret, bought myself something to eat (and something for the flight) and whiled away my time for a good hour or so. Did some window shopping and eventually headed to the gate. LGW is so crowded, and seeing as it's LCC disneyworld, you're often surrounded by riff raff unlike LHR that has a more genteel crowd in comparison.

My flight was full! The queue itself spilt out of the boarding area into the neighbouring gate (where they were boarding for Faro, Portugal) and several of those passengers joined our queue! LOL We had to tell them that we were headed to Latvia.

Anyway, the plane was a brilliant CJ2000, you could tell it was new. I liked the ipod style screens instead of the traditional big ones. Flight departed and I was all set for my first trip to the Baltics. Read my Latvia blog here [travel-blogs/141531/summary]

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Posted by vikramonthemove 17:00 Archived in England Comments (0)

Thank God that computer outage didn't affect my flight


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This entry picks up from my return from Israel.

I was pretty concerned that my flight not make it to LHR given the embarassing BA "IT systems" glitch that crippled flights out of LHR on Bank Holiday weekend. fortunately, the end result was a 40 minute delay. The immigration queues at LHR were so darn quiet that you'd never guess that so much drama had ensued the previous night.

I wasn't the hungriest - so caught the Tube to Earls Court [Earls-Court-travel-guide-1253267], checked in and called it a night. I had to wake up uber-early for my flight to Latvia.

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