A Travellerspoint blog

Quick bites

..British quirks i've noticed so far..

So I forgot to post this as I was living in England...might as well post it now before i forget these English-isms.. :)

  • The standard greeting is 'You awright?' instead of "Hey, How's it going?"

  • Gas here is now £1.11/L (thats ~$2.22/L); i don't even want to remember how much we spent to fill our gas tank

  • At work, its customary to ask everyone around you if they want tea and then you make as many as people said 'Yes'.... But I dont do this b/c I don't make tea very well.

  • London (and combination of the Tube) is quite dirty..90% of the time when I come home from work and blow my nose, it's black-ish.

  • The Tube (Bakerloo line at Piccadilly Circus) is freaking HOT in the afternoon and people packed like sardines...yes, this means some serious BO floating around.

  • London is a super place to act as a jump-off point to other cities around Europe. Budget carriers like Ryanair or Easyjet fly out of the smaller airports (Luton, Stansted, Heathwick) and give very good deals...that we haven't been able to get since we travel peak-time (weekend).

  • Chemist = Pharmacist; Surgery = Doctor's Office; Boot = car trunk; Queue = lineup; Brolly = umbrella; Lorry = truck; Jumper = sweater

  • Roundabouts are way better than 4-way stops; keeps the traffic flow moving much better and funner(?) to drive!

Posted by dnaman 15:49 Archived in England Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

The Farewell Tour pt. 2

  • Tuesday - Headed to St. Paul's Cathedral and National Portrait Gallery for some last-minute sight-seeing to cover all the bases. Dome was pretty cool at the cathedral but still not as good as St. Peter's in the Vatican.

  • Wednesday - Afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason; Boy is afternoon tea at a posh place pretty expensive or what? Small triangular-cut sandwiches and some scones and jam..and some tea. Nice experience. Also caught a show of Jersey Boys that night. Now THAT was a good show, right up there with Wicked i must say. Started off a bit slow but once they 'released their first hit 'Sherry'', it really picked up!

  • Thursday - Visit to Hampton Court. Freezing cold but pretty cool palace to visit. Had to do one last English tourist thing before leaving.

  • Friday - One last night in Piccadilly Circus. Took one last look around the neon lights and then caught the last tube ride to Waterloo, then onto Woking for the last time.

The next post will be a quick summary of our thoughts/feelings for spending the last 8-9 months in England.

Posted by dnaman 16:10 Archived in England Tagged events Comments (0)

The Farewell Tour pt. 1

So as we close this chapter on our travels, after 8 months in England (Knaphill to be exact), we are set to go back home to our 'home' in Toronto. Hopefully I've written just enough to remember the good/crazy times we've had here and on our travels while we've been here.

Now i've left my job, packing has begun (slowly), and we have one week or so left to do our farewell tour..a few highlights:

  • Last week - Meet w/Greg from Travellerspoint. Great guy, met a few times at pubs all around London..good luck with the new job and we'll go for that ale or Coors Light again soon lol.

  • Friday - Outing with work mates to London’s only authentic Brazilian ‘churrascaria de rodizio’ – Rodizio Rico. Damn lots of meats, great company hanging out with my syseng boys outside work. Hopefully we get to work with each other again soon ;) Also had a Verve Cliquot (champagne) at a pub..jokes..!!

  • Saturday - Ministry of Sound feat Bob Sinclair - Defected in the House tour. Music was wicked inside BUT..a BIG BUT..we actually lined up for 3.5 hours outside just to get into the first party of 2009 for Ministry. But it was partly our fault...thats what you get when you dont have tickets for one of the biggest parties of the early New Year..ugh...but glad we made it the second time before we left.

  • Sunday - Gaucho with Claire and Alan. Going to miss you guys!! Thanks for the advice on buying a quality trench coat (Burberry) and hopefully they get to move to Singapore as their next move! Ye Old English Dunnys in the house! Call us up when you visit the T-dot!

  • Monday - Shopping on King's Road in Chelsea area; Dinner with Michelle (O.G. P.A.C.E.r). Um..yeah first of all, i bought too much, but thats because everything i bought was 50% off...oh well.. Michelle was awesome company with us while having a French dinner in the Sloane Square area...been living in London for 4 years now and hanging with the homeboys in Hacknet heheh. Hopefully we can hang out again when she moves back to T-dot next year!!

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Posted by dnaman 15:29 Archived in England Tagged events Comments (0)

Meemo/Timbo's visit to England

So another couple Torontonians came to visit us in England, this time over the Xmas and New Years holidays so this was going to be a blast! (Since this is a late post, im not quite sure I remember much, so the point form will be even shorter..)

  • First day, I took Tim to get a haircut at Mopps Barber shop, the local haircut place where I get my hair did. Yeah, they just wanted to say 'ooh, i got my haircut at a local English barber..' lol

  • Took them to a restaurant called Dans Le Noir, which was a very surreal and interesting experience. Basically, its a restaurant where the waiters are blind and you eat in complete pitch blackness. You try to figure out what you're eating and basically eat like you're blind. Umm..someone had to 'compose themselves' straight away because the lack of sight was a bit initially overwhelming..ahem

  • We also went to check out Absolut Ice Bar in London. Very cool bar where you book 40 minute timeslots in a bar where everything is completely made of ice! bar, glasses, walls, tables, very quirky thing to do and something that had to be done once.

  • NOBIS!! Received a load of gear from Meemers from the place she currently designs hats for. Awesome stuff, go check out their site . But look out for BOOBIS coming soon! lol

  • The Hills! Lots of sing-alongs..'nuff said.

  • Took them to Windsor castle (but it was closed!!).

  • Had LOTS of Bulmer's pear ciders and even Meemerz got drunk at least 3 nights in a row...and she doesn't even drink lol! I guess when you're on vacation and everyone else is drinking...just go on!

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Posted by dnaman 01:02 Archived in England Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Drinking Ginja in Lisboa

..while Tim and Mimi were off to Paris

sunny 16 °C

As a mini-break during the holidays, we jumped at a lastminute.com offer and went to Lisbon, Portugal for a few days. This was one of the first trips we took where we had no guidebook (actually we had one I bought at Heathrow and accidentally left in Heathrow...) and no real sense of what to expect..

  • Stayed at the Lisboa Plaza, part of Heritage Hotels Lisbon, right off the Champs-Elysee-looking strip called the Avenue de Liberdade. Very nice, quaint hotel, easy to get to and free wifi throughout!

  • The first day we got there was on a Sunday, and Lisboa seemed to shut down this day as it was very quiet on the streets. We ended up doing one line of the hop-on-hop-off bus tour and managed to see some important monuments/sites...but i dont remember their names lol.

  • Found this really popular pastel (egg-tart) place in Belem and decided to join the queue and see what the fuss was about. Had a couple of pastels and coffee and soon realized these were probably the best egg tarts we've ever had and even better when sprinkled with a bit of icing sugar and cinnamon...mmmmm. We did try them again throughout the weekend at other places but not as good as the first place..

  • Next day we completed the second half of the bus tour and this time it was windy and rainy..but it was 13 degrees Celsius! At one of the stops, we noticed this new mall, Vasco de Gama, and it being Boxing Week we went to check it out. I was only looking for a belt but i ended up getting a belt, shirt and sweater...in a matter of 10 minutes lol! Afterwards, we had no idea where to catch the bus again so we had some churassco chicken at the bus station and it was way better than Nando's..way better.

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  • At night we went for more Churassco chicken, this time at a Churassco restaurant we passed by earlier. Luckily, there were no line-ups and we managed to get in right away. This time, a bottle of white was 9 euro which was ok but the chicken was soooooo good. There was also this spicy olive oil on the table that was there to spice up the chicken even more. There were these 2 old Portugese men beside us so naturally, i kept my eye on them to see what they were getting, and they got this cherry liquer called Ginja...so i HAD to get one too lol! Sweet and smooth, i ended up buying a bottle at duty-free on the way home haha!

  • We found a Christ the King-copy on the other side of the river, called Christo Rei. Apparently, the previous Lisbon bishop visited Brazil,saw the real one there in Sao Paolo and liked it so much he had one built just like it in Lisbon! We tried to go there on the last day but because of lunch difficulties and the transportation to get there, we only made it to the train station before turning back..

  • All in all, Lisboa definitely exceeded any presumptions we had before arriving and it's a great place to go that's not so overrun by tourists..yet. The food here was amazing, the people were great, the weather was amazing (16 C on the last day!) and the location by the sea was beautiful! Come here if you can!

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Posted by dnaman 02:27 Archived in Portugal Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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