(Join Tales Told From The Road on a month-long virtual European journey.)
Stop #1 on our jaunt across Europe is London.
But why London? Why not Oslo, Paris, or Berlin?
Odd are good that if you live near a major U.S. city you’ll be able to fly non-stop to London.
And I love non-stop flights, especially to Europe.
By flying non-stop you are giving an airline only one chance to lose your bags, or cancel or delay your flight. If you have to change planes either you or your luggage may miss your connecting flight which is not how you want to kick-off your vacation.
And non-stop flying time to London from U.S. airports is probably less than to any other European city. If, like me, you are flying from the West Coast, shaving even an hour off the time spent in that airborne tin tube is worth it.
Flying in Style
Want to fly in Business of First Class, but don’t have “The Readies” (as the British sometimes call money) to pay for a ticket in the classy classes?
The U.S. airport that you are flying out of could have more non-stop flights per day to London than to other European cities. More flights means more competition for those travelers able to pay big bucks to fly “up front,” giving you a better chance of cashing in your “Frequent Flier, Frequent Buyer” miles for that cushy lie-flat bed seat.
Jet Lag Be Gone, Serenity Hello!
Getting off a plane and chilling out for a couple of days on arrival and before putting the pedal to the metal and romping around Europe makes a lot of sense.
But why do so in London, one of the world’s most populated cities?
Despite it’s size, I’ve found London to be a surprisingly serene city and a great place to spend two days to unwind and get over jet lag.
Hang out in Hyde Park, tour Buckingham Palace if the Queen is in Scotland, see a museum or two, hoist one in a pub, and you’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to hit the tourist trail.
English Spoken Here!
While learning even a few phrases (Good day! Thank you! Were is the bathroom?) of a European language can help you when you are on the Continent, it will take a while for your brain to arrive in the same time zone as your body after flying across the Atlantic, let alone engage in speaking in foreign tongues.
But even though the English do speak our common language a bit strangely at times, you should have no trouble at all communicating with the “locals” in London.
And since they drive “on the wrong side of the street,” Londoners have kindly painted “Look Left” in English at street crossings so we Yanks will look for traffic coming from the opposite direction than in the U.S. and not get run over.
Back on Your Horse
London is one to two hours non-stop flying time to many European cities. So just hop in a cab, on a train, or hire a car and driver and head to one of the city’s airports to continue your cross-Europe journey.
Hate flying? Not a problem. Just board the Eurostar under-the-English-Channel train and sip champagne while on your way to Brussels or Paris.
(Enjoy the weekend in London. On Monday we’ll leave it behind and head east.)