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Friday, May 27, 2011

MAKING TRAVEL PLANS: First Stop LONDON!

By the London Bridge

Two weeks from today (June 10) I'll be boarding a plane from YVR and heading for London Gatwick for the first part of my 4 week holiday.  I've been to London dozens of times in the past, beginning with my first trip in about 1975 and my stays there have extended from a month or more to just a day.  This time, I'm only spending a day and night there before proceeding on to Salisbury.  And I'll stay an extra night on my way back from Worcester before I leave for Athens on June 19.

I know my way around London on the tubes and for the past few years I always stay at the Indian "Y" which is located near the Warren Street Station on Fitzroy Street, an ideal location as it's walking distance to a lot of the sights.  It's a great place to stay, reasonably priced, clean, friendly and includes breakfast and dinner.  It's also situated in an area once frequented by writers: those of the Bloomsbury group and others such as Dylan Thomas.  Right across the little park from the hotel is the home of Virginia Woolf and G. Bernard Shaw and down Fitzroy Street is a pub were several well known writers including Dylan Thomas hung out.

Every time I go to London I try to find different things to do so I'm not always browsing around Green Park, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square etc, although I never get tired of walking by those popular tourist areas.  This time I imagine there'll be lots of Royal Wedding souvenirs in the shops and kiosks so I'll take a look at those. 

One thing I love to do in London is to go on the London Walks.  I've been on several, and there are quite a few to choose from. Because I'm arriving quite early in the morning on that Saturday, I plan to have a little rest at the Y first, then venture out to do my London sightseeing.  So I'll go on one of the evening walks. Just for fun I'm thinking about the "Blood-Curdling London" a spooky walk through heinous places or perhaps "Ghosts of the Old City" (I find hauntings fascinating!).  You meet at certain tube stations and walk from there.  This one's led by the "Duke of Darkness".  Sounds thrilling!

Early the next morning I catch a bus down to Salisbury where I'll be meeting up with a fellow travel writer who has offered to escort me to the stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury.  I'm making this stop in Salisbury partly to renew some research for a half-finished novel I want to resume working on. So it should prove to be a very worthwhile side-trip.

Salisbury

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