I get to pick up my wonderful ticket to London in about half an hour. I’m doing the big trip to the other side of the world in less than 2 months & I’m desperate to get my hands on this ticket as it’s something concrete that I can hold and look at & love & proof that I’m actually going!
It’s now 30 days, 5 hours & 25 minutes until I leave the job I hate & 3 weeks later I leave the country to start a whole new adventure!
And tips or suggestions for life in the UK & Europe are more than welcome!
In the UK, not only do they drive on the other side of the road, they also walk on the “other” side. It takes some getting used to. In hallways, escalators, sidewalks, they walk on the left rather than the right.
Well, Phaeton is an Aussie, so there should be no worries about driving on the (ahem) “other” side of the road.
But when it comes to escelators, watch out! Even though they drive on the left and overtake on the right, when it comes to escelators they stand on the right and overtake on the left. It’s very confusing. I can’t count the number of times I’ve absent-mindedly stepped on to a Tube escelator on the left-hand side, and stood there like a nong while an infuriated but too-polite-to-say-anything crowd queued up behind me.
Another tip: Don’t take the tube while in central London, when you can help it. The distances aren’t as far as you’ll think, and you won’t get a good orientation of the place until you’ve walked it.
Oh, yeah, and like Icarus said, don’t forget to mind the gap. That’s very important.
I recommend the London Eye, especially if the weather forecast is good, but book at least a day ahead and bring binoculars if you’re serious about going. I enjoyed it immensely.
If you’re into museums and art galleries, I can recommend heaps. If you’re into shows and musicals, try The Lion King – and definitely check out the Half-Price Ticket Booth in Leicester Square.
Don’t give money to mothers begging with children. Do consider buying The Big Issue from a licensed vendor – they’re all homeless or recently housed people trying to improve their lives (it’s one pound, but some people give a little extra). I’ll leave it to you whether you want to give money to buskers.
Things to Beware: Pickpockets/purse snatchers. Seriously. I tell everyone the same thing – don’t keep valuables in back trouser pockets or outside coat pockets, keep purses and bags closed and in front of you in crowded spaces (especially on the Tube), and keep an eye on your luggage on the way to and from airports.
And don’t eat at steak houses – their kitchens are usually extremely unhygienic.