Just to finish my posts on the trip to Europe I thought I’d let you have some travel tips:
- Buy an Oyster card for London tube (and other rail and bus) travel. Yes I know you all know this one but if I don’t put it in people would say “what about the Oyster card?” Actually I bought a card before I left from RailPlus in Newmarket. It costs a little more but you at least hit Heathrow with card in hand ready to go and don’t have to join the queues!!
- iPhone and iPad apps – London Tube; London’s Best Coffee; Translate (great app for French this trip); vianavigo (for Paris metro – better than the “Paris Metro” app); TripAdvisor; Google Maps.
- Buy Vodafone’s Data Roaming Bundle for Europe – $50 for 200MB (Zone 2) rather than fiddle around buying and installing local sim cards and worrying about whether your phone is locked or unlocked. Over 4 weeks I used 500MB at $130 which might seem a lot but its hassle free. No brainer! One touch to top up and charged to you Voda account.
- Actually the real problem with using your iPhone for on-the-move google mapping or tripadvisoring is the phone running out of juice so take your charger with you and plug in at cafes etc. to recharge as you go.
- Excellent dining in the Marais area of Paris at Les Philosophes (28 Rue Vieille du Temple), Bourguignon du Marais (52 rue Francois Miron) and in Montmartre at Le Garde Temps (19 bis rue Pierre Fontaine – very nouveau francais)
- Excellent dining in London at The Pantechnicon a gastro pub in Knightsbridge/Belgravia
- Excellent dining in Stratford-upon-Avon at Loxleys in Sheep Street
- Excellent dining in Bowness-on-Windermere if you’re in the Lake District at Postilion & Jackson’s Bistro
- Great coffee at kiwi-owned cafes – Nude Espresso Soho Square in London and Federation Coffee if you happen to be at the Brixton market.
- And finally, if transiting at Shanghai you can have a shower in VIP Lounge 69 for NZ$50 if you buy 250RMB (local currency) at the Currency Exchange. Deb did, I didn’t need one haha
Next we’ll be back to good old Ponsonby stuff