Category Europe FOR dummies

Keeping Up with Airline Security Measures

With the federalization of airport security, security procedures at U. S. airports are more stable and consistent than ever before. Generally, you’ll be fine if you arrive at the airport at least two hours before an

international flight; if you show up late, tell an airline employee and she’ll probably whisk you to the front of the line.

Obviously, bring your passport. Be prepared to show it several times — to airline employees asking security questions, to the clerks checking you in, to the TSA officials at the security checkpoint, and sometimes even to the gate attendants.

In 2003, the TSA phased out gate check-in at all U. S. airports. And e-tickets have made paper tickets nearly obsolete...

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Bringing Your Goodies Back Home

You can take your goodies with you — to a point. Restrictions exist for how much you can bring back into the United States for free. If you go over a certain amount, the Customs officials impose taxes.

In 2003, the personal exemption rule — how much you can bring back into the States without paying a duty on it — was doubled to $800 worth of goods per person. On the first $1,000 worth of goods over $800, you pay a flat 3 percent duty. Beyond that, it works on an item-by-item basis. There are a few restrictions on amount: 1 liter of alcohol (you must be over 21), 200 cigarettes, and 100 cigars. Antiques more than 100 years old and works of fine art are exempt from the $800 limit, as is anything you mail home.

You can mail yourself $200 worth of goods duty-free once a day; mark the pac...

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The British Isles

The 5th Wave By Rich Tennan

The British Isles


“lt! s the room ne>cb door. Tketj suggest you deflate tjour souvenir bagpipes before typing – to pack tkem in -^our lug^a^e.”

In this part . . .

#^ritain can be a good place to start your journey because everyone speaks English, so the culture shock isn’t as great. A visit to the British Isles makes for a memorable, adventurous stop on any European vacation. You can choose from such activities as hiking the highlands of Scotland, going on a pub-crawl in Ireland, or visiting world-class museums in London.


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London and the Best of England

In This Chapter

^ Getting to London ^ Checking out the neighborhoods ^ Discovering the best places to sleep and eat ^ Exploring the city’s highlights

^ Side-tripping to Bath, Salisbury, Stonehenge, or Oxford

he wondrous city of London — home to Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, Sherlock Holmes and Scotland Yard, Prince William and a stiff upper lip, pubs and pints, tea time and scones, Harrods and the British Museum. You can spend the evening at the latest West End production, dance until dawn at the hippest clubs, and have a pint in the same pubs where Shakespeare hung out. And if that’s not enough, you have the Tower of London, the River Thames, the Tate Modern, and the Crown Jewels...

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Orienting Yourself in London

London is a large and sprawling city. Urban expansion has been going on around London for centuries, and the 618 square miles of London consist of many small towns and villages that slowly have been incorporated over time. Officially, 33 boroughs divide London, but most of its 7.2 million residents still use traditional neighborhood names, which I do as well in this guide.

Chapter 10: London and the Best of England 129 England

Orienting Yourself in London


Most of central London lies north of the Thames River (west of it when the river turns southward) and is more or less bounded by the two loops of the District and Circle Tube lines. Central London can be divided into The City and the West End.

Introducing the neighborhoods

Located on what now is the eastern edge of London’s center, The City is the ancient squ...

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Getting Around London

The city of London is too spread out for you to rely on your feet to get from here to there, and driving in the city is a nightmare. Fortunately, London has an extensive public transportation system. At any Tube stop or tourist center, pick up a copy of the map/pamphlet “Tube &

Bus,” which outlines the major bus routes and includes a copy of the widespread Tube map. For information on all London public-transport options (Tube, buses, light rail) call % 020-7222-1234 or visit www. tfl. gov. uk.

You can hop aboard London’s buses, Tube, and light rail systems with the Travelcard (in this section I just discuss “off-peak” prices, which are valid after 9:30 a. m. Monday through Friday and anytime weekends and public holidays)...

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Staying in London

Staying in London

Hotel rates in London come at premium prices, especially when compared to other large European cities, such as Paris. To avoid exorbitant room rates, your best bet is to find a B&B, pension, or small hotel offering low rates. You may not sleep in luxury, but you’ll be able to afford the rest of your trip. Many hotels — especially those owned by chains, such as Forte, which runs the Regent Palace (see review later in this section) — offer Weekend Breaks that can get you 20 to 50 percent off a room rented for two or three weekend nights.

The two best hotel booking services are run by the Visit London tourist board (% 08456-443-010 or 020-7932-2020; www. visitlondonoffers. com) and the private LondonTown (www. londontown. com).

Britain sports two types of bed-and-breakfasts these...

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Dining in London

Granted, the British have long been mocked for the drab quality of their national cuisine (mushy peas, anyone?). And certainly you can still go to a corner pub in London and get food lousy enough to curl your toenails. But over the past decade, London’s top chefs have started paying atten­tion to the quality of old-fashioned dishes, while adopting new culinary techniques and using more international ingredients. This fusion of old – world tradition with new-world foodstuffs has led to the rise of Modern British cuisine. Add to this London’s variety of ethnic restaurants — locals go out for Indian the way Americans go out for Chinese — and you won’t ever have to touch steak and kidney pie unless you want to.

When you’re not dining high on modern innovations, Britain still has a f...

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Gordon Ramsay at Ctaridge’s Mayfair MODERN BRITISH

Gordon Ramsay is the hottest chef in London today and his flavorful yet light, inventive cooking needs to answer to no one, save the palates of an appreciative and fashionable clientele. The menu changes frequently, but try the filets of baby red mullet on a juniper-flavored sauerkraut or the breast and confit leg of guinea fowl with vegetables and foie gras. The three-course lunch and early supper menu (until 6:45 p. m. Monday to Satruday) are steals at £30 ($ 54) for either.

See map p. ###. Brook Street, W1. % 020-7499-0099. www. gordonramsay. com. Reservations required as far in advance as possible. Tube: Bond Street. Fixed-price meals £30-£65 ($54-$117). AE, DC, MC, V. Open: Lunch and dinner daily.

‘ ‘atabar Junction

Gordon Ramsay at Ctaridge's Mayfair MODERN BRITISH

Bloomsbury INDIAN


The owner comes from the southern I...

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Exploring London

Not only is London home to some of the world’s greatest museums — the antiquities of the British Museum, the Old Masters of the National Gallery, the contemporary greats in the Tate Modern, the globe-spanning decorative arts in the V&A — but all the biggies are absolutely free of charge! On the other hand, London’s major churches do charge admis­sion. Go figure.

London’s top sights

Exploring London

British Museum

Bloomsbury

The Brits have quite possibly the world’s greatest archaeological collection. You can spend several days exploring this intriguing museum, or do the highlights in two to three hours. My advice: Spend a couple of half-days here. After all, it’s free.

The British Museum has treasures that span history as well as the globe, from the Rosetta Stone — the key that cracke...

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