Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jetting Across the Pond

I looked up and realized that I'm going to London on Saturday - holy cow, where did the time go?

I booked my ticket in December and frankly have not thought much about the trip since then. I'm going with my mother (her first trip to the Mother Isle), who is nothing if not an amazing over planner, but she has been remarkably quiet on the subject. But when I asked what plans she had arranged, lo and behold, she'd already booked several fun filled days. A lot of these plans are places that I've been previously, but hey, in my second favorite place on Earth (don't worry, Southland, nothing can ever replace you in my heart), I'm happy to revisit "old to me" sites.

In planning a month's worth of fun into a week, the discerning traveler is forced to make some tough choices. Do we go to Brighton or Bath? Do we take the full tour of Westminister Abbey, the Tower, or both?

With this in mind, there are some things that are non-negotiables and some that are not. A lot of these categories are dependent on your nationality, predeliction for history, and love of food. For this American, history-loving, foodie, I can tell you the one thing that I would politely suggest that you don't worry about if you only have a week in jolly old England: Stonehedge. Now, before you object, let me state that I have been to and admired the site in person:

It was lovely. There were big stones, green meadows, and lots of sheep. All around a picturesque and appropriately awe-inspiring. It is also in the middle of a gigantic plain with not much around it, aside from Salisbury (for which the plain is named). Salisbury is also a wonderful town with a wonderful cathedral.

But if you only have 5 days in a country, do really want to spend all that time getting out to the middle of nowhere to look at a bunch of rocks for 10 minutes? For me, the answer is no. If you're staying for a few weeks and want to make a day of it, by all means do so. If you are going to the solstice celebration, go for it. Otherwise, I'd say skip it. Spend the day in Oxford, Cambridge, or any of the other more action packed areas.

I'd say the same thing about Versailles, but that's for another day and another trip.

Anyways, I'm excited to get some much needed rest from crazy pants times at work and to enjoy my second favorite country with my favorite mother. I'll be offline starting tomorrow, so see you on the other side!

Are there any big tourist spots that you think people should skip on a tight schedule? What destination most thwarted your expectations?

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