Posts Tagged ‘England’

Trafalgar square

Souvenir of my last London trip :

Trafalgar Square


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© alex saberi - Shutterstock

London is such an amazing place. If you like the people, the culture and the architecture’s art, you would love this city so badly that you will like to go back again over and over just like me.

But in order to enjoy fully this city, you have to know 2 or 3 things about it first.

Let’s talk about transports ! London is a big city and you can’t walk everywhere. At some point, you will have to take the tube (Underground), the bus or why not their legendary black cab !

I truly regret to not have test their black cab so I can’t really talk to you about it. 

The Underground :

The Londoners call it the Tube, you will easily understand why when you will see one. It looks like a tube. It’s not really large and it could be really very crowded according to the hours.

There is a different code colour and name according to the 13 lines : Brown for Bakerloo line, Light Green for Circle line, Rose for Hammersmith & city… To moving with the tubes, you have to think about the direction that you want to go, North / South / East / West.

Example : You’re at Piccadilly Circus and you want to visit Portobello Road, really famous for his antique’s market in Notting Hill.
May I suggest you to take the tube at Piccadilly Circus’ station.
Take Bakerloo Line (Brom), one stop to the north (Oxford Circus) and change with Central Line (Red) to the West to stop at Notting Hill Gate’s station.

As long as you know where is the place where you want to go, it will be really easy to find your way, if not, well don’t worry, Londoners are really kind and will help you whatever you will need help or not ! In every station, you will find Underground’s workers to some tickets stops who will be glad to help you. (Paris really need to take advises from London for this point! )

My tip : You will find a Tube map in every station and even an "area" map of the neighbourhood.
Very useful when you don't want to get out your big London's map hiding in your bag !

If the tube could be awesome, it could be a nightmare too for some reasons. It’s not really reliable ! There is often some stations who could just be closed in the current of the day, you don’t even know why. On my 4 days trip to London, 9 of the 13 lines were closed for the week-end ! There is a lot of public notice in the stations remind you to check the planned Tube disruptions first if you’re planning something !! And me who was complaining about the Parisian’s underground !

The tube’s station are not as close than the Parisian’s ones but it’s not so far away from each other neither. So you will see that if you’re staying in the heart of London, you will not need as much that you thought of the tube.

I almost forget, you will need to valid your ticket / Oyster Card to enter and get out of the tube !

My tip : Don't forget to look how your distance costed you in validating your ticket when you're going to the exit.
You could this way know how much money left on your Oyster Card too. Very useful in did !

The Imperial Bus :

The way to move in the city !! That’s a great experience to do, specially on the top of it. There is so many buses in all the city that it is just unbelievable. About a bus every 2 minutes. No need to tell you that you will never wait a long time your bus.

You can go everywhere and whatever you want with it, even the night ! In fact, it’s known to be the favorite way of moving from the Londoners. It’s on time, always working (unlike the tube) and for us, travelers, it’s fun and a new way to discover this city !

My tip : Do never forget to valid your bus ticket. It could cost you a lot of money to not doing it if there is some control !

What about the Oyster Card ?!

Transports are expensive in London ! It’s requiring a budget just to move from a point to another one ! If my souvenirs are good, a bus ticket is around 2£ and the tube’s ticket it about the same price even sometime more expensive according how far you’re going. I don’t really understand how works their price’s systems anyway.

Do not buy one to one ticket, it will get too expensive. All my Londoners friend give me the same advice :

Take the Oyster Card or the Traveler Card ! This are the transport cards networks in London. You can take the buses and the tube with it. You can find it in the ticket stops in every tube’s stations I think. Look at the website for it, I know there is a ticket’s stop in Heathrow and King’s cross station / St Pancras too.

You will find all the prize about the tickets here. If you’re staying 3 or 4 days in London, the Oyster Card would be the most interesting choice. You can refill the card when ever you want and how ever you want too ! That the advantage of a “Pay as you go” card !  You decide what is the most convenient for you. This is a good choice because if you don’t take much the tube or the buses, you will define yourself your budget.

I’ve never buy the Traveler Card, I have to admit, staying only for 4 days, I didn’t think that I needed it. It was more expensive that my need with the Oyster Card.

My tip : For my 4 days journey, I bought an Oyster Card. I've load around 20£ and that was all about that I need.
Count around 5£ / day, even if I did not travel much for 5£ / day myself ! 

Good to know : If you're travelling for at least 5£ / day, it means that you will move for free until the end of the day !
You will still need to valid your card but no money will be take it out.
But if you're walking a lot just like me, it might be possible you would not travel for more than 4£ / day !!

What about the Train then ?!

I’ve never travelled in train in UK and every English people that I know told me the same thing:

Train is really expensive and it does not work good !! Don’t take train if you can, just take the buses !! Much more reliable and sometimes even faster than trains !

What can I say more except: Enjoy your journey in London !!

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I have to admit that for this theme, I had some difficulties to pick up the good photos. So many choice but in the meanwhile, was it really fit to the theme ?

Waiting to shoot some new photos, here’s some took in London ! It really seems that this town is in a certain way so old fashion !

Shoe shine service in La City

Shakespeare’s Head pub in Carnaby Street

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Just because I thought that I couldn’t keep it to myself…

The London Eye…

Sir Big Ben !

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This is my first participation to the Weekly Photo Challenge !

Overtime I didn’t get any shots to fits to the challenge and mostly I couldn’t make some in time to post it in the blog ! As you know, I’ve been quite overbooked this last weeks, months… I really wanted to join this challenge because I love photography and I think that is a funny way to share our photos with everyone. If I’m using my Canon EOS 1D to do art / stage photography, I’m only using my IPhone for the Fun ones ! Why this ? Just because this is so much convenient, it’s small, always in my pocket and I can use some nice application like Hipstamatic or Crosse over to look better.

Enough talking ! Here’s my photo !

Funny little Squirrel in Hyde Park

But what is the story about this shot ?!?

I’ve been for the first time of my life in London last November, so of course, I had to walk in Hyde Park !! I was completely amazed to see so many animals in this park !! There were goose, different kind of birds and squirrel !! I’ve ever seen squirrels in Vincennes’s wood near Paris, they are fearful toward humans. But the one in Hyde park…. They were big and came to me !! It was so funny to see them moving fastly, kind of jumping all the around me looking for some foods ! I could even almost touch them, caress them but I guess they were timorous at this point !

Then came my little friend, the one who jump and climb on my leg to come closer ! I made it several times ! Then he left and disappear in the trees…. I loved that moment !!! He was so cute and lovely and this is the kind of little event that I will never forget !…

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Here’s a little game started by Some Go Softly, she wrote:  “ let’s use these a little like those table topics cards: I’ll go first, then you go. If you have a blog or something like that, put it over there and link back to it, or just reply to me in the comments!!

So how could I say no her game ?! Plus Meri Duniya already published her 3 countries’ list, so let’s do it !

  1. United kingdom. I could have told England but I also want to visit Scotland so let’s talk about UK instead ! No I’m not cheating… I’m making this game a little bit easier to me. 😉 So first I always wanted to go to London, or going back to London… Oh that’s not really new isn’t it ?! 😉 But I would love to visit Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, the lakes district as well and then going further to the north to visit Scotland, St Andrews ( Oh my, humm who told you that I wanted to visit the Saint  Graal of the Golf ?! ) and then direction the Highlands visiting some haunted castle and let’s do in the cliché, the Loch Ness’ Lake !
  2. Australia Or New Zealand or why not both !! That can’t be much more far away countries for me… I always wanted to dive into the Great Barrier Reef, to visit the Australian desert, to see Ayers Rocks, so different from the European landscape right ! 🙂 So what about New Zealand ? Seriously ? Have you seen the landscape there ?! So wonderful too !! Mountains and ocean… all that I need !
  3. Brazil definitely !! Because I’ve always liked MPB ( musica popular do Brazil ), the samba, the landscape too and yes I really like Brazilian’s accent ! It so sweet to listen, just like if you could heard the sun in every words they are telling. No Ladies… Please do not think I would like to date a Brazilian… I’ve already done that and believe me, I really can shut down a cliché about Brazilian boy. But I won’t… that will stay a secret, you’re really so curious isn’t it ?! 😉

So this is your turn now !! And don’t forget to let a comment to Some Go Softly‘s  post too !!

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I have to admit this is a very good question ?

Was it when I start my new intern job ? Or maybe it was during my long week end to London ? Yes maybe that was it, my last recent Aha moment ! Nothing was planed, everything have been organized in the rush !

It was my first trip to London, yes I know this is crazy, specially when you know that I’ve been living in Paris for more than 6 years now and London is only 3 hours away from the City of Light ! I always wanted to go in this city but every time I found some reasons to not to go… Hostels are so expensive, I don’t have enough money saved to go now. Can I really go alone even for a couple of days, I don’t want to live this moment alone… Yes all this kind of stupid bad reasons to not to go. More stupid knowing that I’ve got friends out there but I mostly know them only with internet so it’s not like really knowing them ? Maybe not or maybe it just depends of the one to the other side of the computer right ? Maybe sometimes, you can’t really lie to the other and really getting to know each other better than actually in real. At least that’s what I think.

But let’s go back to my first trip to London. Of course I’ve contacted my friends out there to know if they were available for a drink or something, but it happened that they weren’t in the city at this very same time ! Bad luck or maybe not. Anyway everything happened so quickly !

What a wonderful feeling that I’ve got when I first stepped outside of the train ! I don’t know… everything was different of Paris even the train station, so clean, so big, so British ! The people are so differents than in Paris, they are actually talking to strangers, offering to help you if they think that you’re lost, people were so nice and lovely !

When I speak to one of my english friend living in Paris about how nice everyone was, he just smiled me back and told me : Of Course Darling, we’re English, we are kind and nice.

What do I like too about London ? The architecture, the modern melting to the Old, the museums but mostly all this colour everywhere ! The front of the shops are red, green, blue, white, black, purple, pink… oh and so many lights, lights and colour everywhere. Yes I really love this feeling to be in such colourful city. Don’t misunderstood me, I love Paris and everything but all the buildings are so grey, Hausmanian’s buildings are everywhere it’s obvious when you know that Mister Hausman rebuild about all Paris around 1865 ! And Parisians museums are just so expensive too ! I have this feeling that maybe it’s time for me to leave this “City of Love” who by the way did not really bring me love…

So what about now ? Well yes, I’ve been fallen in love with London for so many reasons that I can’t all write it down right now… Maybe it’s just time for me to go to live my London experience too ! Go and moving in this city and why not maybe find finally the Love in this new life ?! Maybe London would be my City of Love 😉

Anyway for now, it’s time for me to go to sleep ! I have a big working day waiting for me tomorrow, yes that’s right, I’m working a Sunday !! Bless you all who could stay at home and enjoy this day off !! 🙂 London will wait for me !

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