Chany's Eurotrip '97 Summary















Heading Home!

Exchange Rates $

Chany's Home Page

Dates: 1997 Oct 6, 7, 8, 9

London, England

  • We arrived at the London Waterloo train station on the morning of Oct 6. The Eurostar Chunnel train ride (from Paris) was interesting. The actual time in the tunnel under the English Channel was 20 minutes. It seemed like the train was going slow, but anything would seem slow if you were travelling at 300 km/hr for a couple hours (I estimate the train was doing 80 km/hr through the tunnel). Also, the train had to adapt itself to the British rail system; in mainland Europe, the trains get their power from overhead wires, whereas on the British Isles, they get the power from the "third" rail. Also, the rails aren't as smooth as the French rails, thus the top speed of the train (in England) was maybe 100 km/hr.
  • Arrived at London's Waterloo Station on the morning of Oct 6. We got a hotel booking from the tourist information booth at a hotel called Linden House; the room rate was 20 pounds per night and included breakfast. Room rating: VERY GOOD ...... the room had a TV (wow!), but a lot of stairs to climb and the rate was a little pricey ..... it was an actual hotel type establishment. The breakfast was excellent, as it was an authentic English breakfast, consisting of toast, beans, eggs, sausage, and ham, with coffee or tea and juice.
  • We had a three day London "Visitor Travelcard", which allowed us unlimited travel on the London Transport system, including "The Tube" (London subway system). One of the annoyances of The Tube was that you had to use your travelcard for entering AND exiting the transit system.
  • The weather was overcast, rained sometimes, and cool. True London weather, we had to pull out our jackets and long pants out of the backpacks. I guess summer is over.
  • One thing I had to get use to was learning which way to look when crossing the street, as the British drive on the left side of the road. Thus, one must "look right, then look left" when crossing the street.
  • London is known for it's live theatre (there's 45 theatres), with most theatres around the Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square area. I went to see three plays: Beauty And The Beast, Les Miserables, and Oliver! (all musicals). Beauty and The Beast was a fun musical that anyone would enjoy; Les Miserables was an intense musical (one of those "I laughed, I cried"); and Oliver!, the musical loosely based on the Dicken's tale "Oliver Twist", was good (I've always liked the 1968 Academy Awards Best Picture version of Oliver!), although the acoustics of the theatre was not that good. Decent tickets cost around 30 pounds.
  • Saw some of the London sites such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge,
  • Rode on a double decker bus .... it smelled like piss (yech!).
  • Visited the Tate Gallery, home to the national collections of British Art. It has a large collection of Turner's works.
  • Visited the British Museum, home to old art and artifacts. The Rosetta Stone (the rock which helped translate hieroglyphics into Greek) is the major artifact housed here.
  • Our next destination was to be Brussels, Belgium. Like the trip to London, we planned on taking the Chunnel train. The cost was 34.50 pounds for Eurail Pass holders. We left London on the morning of Oct 9.

Hanging around outside Big Ben Checking to see if the Queen is home
BACK to Paris