travel


My London travel tips 2

This easter we were on London, it was a great experience and I want to share with you some travel tips:

AIRPORT

I arrived to Stansted Airport. Try to get a fligth to Heatrow or Gatwick. Stansted is 1 hour away by bus from London city center.

There are many bus companies from Stansted to London, the cheapest and fastest is Terravision (15£ with return, 14£ if you book online) but National Express (9£ single) has free WiFi.

CURRENCY

There are many currency exchange offices, but the best is to get cash on an ATM with you credit card. If your bank charges a small comission (ING Direct charges only 2.5%), is cheaper than the exchange offices.

BUS & UNDERGROUND

The city is divided into zones, all the city center is zone 1-2. You can get a “Day Travelcard” for zones 1-2 by 6.60£ (cheap compared to the 4£ of a single travel). You can buy it on the automatic machines at the entries of the tube (allows payment with credit card).

This travelcard also allows you to use the city bus on this zones (only showing the card to the driver). A great tip is to get the bus line 11, you will get a sightseeing arround the touristic zones by the price of a Day Travelcard.

CYCLE HIRE

One funny thing that you can do is to hire a bicycle on one of the many points along the city. You can do it with your credit card. First you must pay 1£ for the access to the cycle hire for 24 hours. Then, you get a cycle by obtaining a printed release code from the machine. This code is composed of “1”, “2” and “3” digits that you must type on the cycle dock to release it.

When you dock the cycle again the system charges you card with an amount depending of the time that you used the cycle. One hour costs 1£ and the prices lower as you use it more hours. By only 2£ you can get a cycle by one hour.

MUSEUMS

The British Museum and other public museums are free so don’t miss them. Quite curious that you can’t take photos with flash on the underground but the British Museum is full of unconscious tourists taking photos with flash and touching pieces from the ancient Egypt.

WIFI

It’s quite hard to find free WiFis on London, but there are lot of BT-FON spots, my advice is to became a FON member before traveling to London, buy “La Fonera” by only 39€ at http://www.fon.com and share your home ADSL. As a FON member you can use this WiFis for free.

ANDROID

As I cound’t find free WiFis (and at the moment I’m not a FON member), I dindn’t used a lot my phone. As now Google Maps has local cache, try to view maps of London City Center when online, they willl remain cached when offline. I also used the app London Underground Free but is wasn’t much more useful than a printed map.

HOTELS

We were on a Easyhotel room but I can only say that it was cheap. Easyhotel thinks that a “room with window” is an underground room with a window to a corridor without natural light. It’s also quite surprising to make fit a bed and a bathroom on 6m2.


Robbery at San Sebastian 2

Try to find the "R"

Try to find the "R"

When you travel, you are allways afraid that someone can steal you the few things that you carry, but what you dont expect is that who tries to steal you was the council of a city like San Sebastian.

Last week we travel to Basque Country and in San Sebastian we parked at a zone painted with white lines. When we returned to the car, we found that we were fined by the local police. I was annoyed and went to speak with the policeman who fined us.

He told me that the parking zone was only for residents, and that was painted with an “R”.

– Me: I cannot see this “R” ¿where is it?

– Policeman: Well, I already said that must be repainted

– Me: then, why did you fined me?

– Policeman: My boss ask me to fine everyone non-resident who parks here because there is a traffic sign there saying this zone is only for residents.

– Me: ¿There? ¿Where is the sign?

– Policeman: There (pointing 50 meters away)

The sign was smaller than normal traffic signs and behind other sign which was hidding it. In other cities resident zones are painted in Green or in Red, but in San Sebastian the council prefers to earn more money confusing their visitors.