Monday, June 12, 2017

London Dubai 2017 - 2

Empty Train when We First Boarded

We boarded the 8.35am train to Victoria Station.  The train was quite empty when we first boarded.  As it got closer and closer to the city area, more passengers came aboard, and it became a bit crowded.  It is advisable to store luggage at the luggage rack once you get on the train.

Victorial Station

9.35am, we arrived at Victoria Station at downtown London.  It is a major transport hub so it can get a bit confusing for first timers.  Anyway, look for the ticket office.

We bought our Oyster card (refundable deposit £5.00) and loaded it with a zone 1-2 any time 7-day pass (£33.00).  The 7-day pass lets you travel on all buses, tram and metro within zone 1 and zone 2 in London.  To give you a sense of the cost of transport.  A single journey ticket on metro costs minimum £2.40 using the Oyster card, more expensive with cash.  A single bus journey costs minimum £1.30 with Oyster card.  There is a cap on the max expenses of ~£6.50, ie if you don't have a 7-day pass, and your expenses for the day exceeds £6.50, then you only need to pay £6.50.  This means your maximum savings with the 7-day pass is £6.50 x 7 - £33 = £12.50.  More information about Oyster card and 7-day pass can be found at Transport for London website.  Mind you, the information provided can be confusing.

Oyster Card

How about zone 1 and zone 2?  Basically zone 1 and zone 2 cover most of the attractions in London, from Tower of London, Tower Bridge, further to Canary Wharf and Greenwich in the east, to Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, National Gallery, St James Park, Westminster Abbey in the center, to Paddington in the west.  However, Windsor Castle and Stonehenge are outside zones 1 - 2.  

Oyster card in hand, we took the metro Circle line at Victoria Station to Paddington Station.  It turned out to be another small challenge.  Different trains will stop at the same platform,  you have to check the display on the train and the sign board at the platform to know whether it is the right train for you.  

Gresham Hotel

11.00am, we finally arrived at our hotel - Gresham Hotel at Sussex Garden.  Two rows of old housing blocks had been converted to hotels.  Each hotel occupies one or few family units, so you see many many hotels in a very short stretch of road.  The road, Sussex Garden, is lined with big trees on both sides, providing ample shape in a hot sunny day.  As we got to know in the next few days, the location is very good.  It is between two metro stations, Paddington station and Edgware Road station.  Paddington rail station is just beside Paddington metro station.  You can go to Cambridge from Paddington rail station directly.  There are many shops, restaurants, convenient stores and supermarkets in the vicinity.  Hyde Park and Kensington Park are just 5 minutes' walk away.  

Check-in was at 2pm, so we left our luggage at the hotel and headed out for our next destination - The British Museum.   More adventures to follow in the next days.  Until then, bye...

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