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nine cities and two questions

August 15, 2009

Cities we’ve visited since April 2008:

1. San Francisco, California
2. New York City, New York
3. Boston, Massachusetts
4. Seattle, Washington
5. Portland, Oregon
6. Chicago, Illinois
7. Denver, Colorado

Destinations for Fall 2009:

8. Reykjavik, Iceland
9. London, England

Questions:

1. If you’ve been to Iceland or England, what experiences do you recommend?
2. Can you suggest any books to help us get the most out of our travels? (History in particular, but other genres are welcome.)

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2009 2:03 pm

    I’ve never been inclined to visit Iceland, but I can tell you about London. Mostly that it’s terrifyingly expensive.

    –Food is pricey and portions are small. It can help to get some snacks, deli-type stuff, etc. from a store and just eat out once a day.
    –Make sure to eat some good ol’ British fish & chips, but if you like international food, you’ll be in heaven.
    –Lodging is very expensive. Hostels are a great alternative, if you don’t mind being in dorm conditions.
    –Use the Tube and avoid cab fare.
    –My can’t-miss London events included riding a double-decker bus (upper level of course), visiting Harrod’s (bought my mom a teacup!), and taking a turn on the Eye (definitely worth the expense). Museums and such are also amazing, and if you have a chance to get last-minute cheap tix to a play or musical, go for it.
    –Wear good walking shoes, bring lots of batteries for the camera, and just soak it all up. Have fun!

  2. August 15, 2009 2:21 pm

    I have some friends that have lived in London for the past 6 months and are traveling around Iceland right now. Weird coincidence. You can check out his pictures and probably ask some questions here: http://twitter.com/nathanberrong

  3. August 15, 2009 8:43 pm

    I’m not sure how much help it will be but after watching the DVD “Heima” I fell in love with Iceland and wanted to go. It’s a DVD released by the Icelandic band Sigur Ros and it follows a tour of small shows (mostly outside in the country) in various Icelandic villages all over the country. It does a great job showing how beautiful the country is If you have Netflix you can get it through there, that’s how I came across it.

  4. August 15, 2009 9:45 pm

    Oh my goodness, why are you going to Iceland?

    My dad’s brother met an Icelandic girl while studying in Germany, married her, and has lived there over 30 years. He is a translator and has done a lot of tour guiding in the past. He lives in east Iceland, so that’s not nearby, of course, but he would certainly know what books to recommend, what guides to recommend, etc. Both of my cousins have lived in Reykjavik at one time or another, and they are pretty great. I could put you in touch with any of them, if you need something like that. But you might not, because I’m guessing if you’re going to Reykjavik, you have a pretty particular reason to go and may know someone there.

    As kids, we often received Icelandic folklore picture books for Christmas presents, or other cool Icelandic things. My uncle has his master’s in English and knows multiple languages, and he’s just a well-read guy. He’d have some book recommendations if you want me to ask him.

    Anyway, very cool!

  5. August 16, 2009 9:34 am

    How fun! I’ve been to London several times; not Iceland yet.

    I definitely echo everything that ToilingAnt said.

    I’ve done both the hostel stay and the hotel stay. The hostel was a pretty good experience and free breakfast was included so that helped with meal costs.

    One of the coolest experiences I remember is visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral. You can (if they still allow it) climb the old staircase way up into the very top. It was a great view of the city!

    The Hard Rock Cafe there is the first one that opened, so it’s a fun experience, though somewhat touristy.

    Finally, it definitely could rain on you! We alawys found it easiest to have light hooded shell jackets with us to put on/off depending on the weather. It was easier than keeping track of an umbrella.

    I hope you guys have a great time! Kirstjen

  6. Abi permalink
    August 16, 2009 9:45 am

    London is definitely more expensive than most other parts of the UK, but if you’re there for any length of time then purchasing an Oyster Card from a tube station would make your travel cheaper (you have to pay for a card – I think £3 – and then credit it, but the rate at which your journey is charged is reduced). It can be used on both tubes and buses, as well as some land trains. I think what a lot of visitors to the UK from the US don’t realise is how close so many things are to each other, without vast stretches of land between them.

    Museums in London are free to enter (the British Museum on Great Russell Street has many Bible-related antiquities, with the book by Brian Edwards published by Day One probably the best Christian guidebook)and a trip on the London Eye is definitely worth a go – just choose a clear day! I’m told the Tower of London is good, but I’ve never been. I live 100 miles from London, on the Sout Coast of England, and in UK terms that’s too far away to regularly pop into the city!

  7. August 20, 2009 7:58 am

    I went to England a couple summers ago…spent part of the time in London, but I would recommend if you get a chance to get out of the city. Oxford is fairly close…and very nice. I only stayed one night but think I could spend a week there…though you have to pay to see the different colleges of the Oxford University. I did see the museums in London, and the changing of the guard. If you get even farther from London, I would recommend the Lake District…lots of famous authors spent time there.

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