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  1. What's new in this club
  2. I was today days old when I learned something interesting about the Basilica of St. Michael in Mondsee, Austria. That's the church that was featured in the wedding scene in the Sound of Music. Namely that there are five jewel encrusted skeletons encased in the altar. I went back and watched the wedding scene again. As they said Konrad is behind a statute and the two lower skeletons are hidden behind candles and flowers but the top two are clearly visible as the camera pans upward at the altar. I just never realized the altar had all these skeltons inside it. Probably a good idea t
  3. Fixing to do this road trip later this year depending on how things pan out. I want to get the SW states in while I still can and add to my total number of states, which is currently at 32 states. I'd be largely keeping to myself during the trip and hopefully by the time I go things will be calm enough. I've already scheduled the stuff but bought travel insurance in case I can't go and am taking the time from work one way or the other.
  4. anachronistic

    London and the Cotswolds!

    Unfortunately, Palimpsest, that won’t happen. We lost a LOT of money because Airbnb is only doing full refunds for those checking in before April 14, and our hosts (understandably, but ouch) declined to offer full refunds so we’re only getting half back, minus fees. A British airways voucher is no good when I’ve no idea where the virus or my own or my moms health will be a year from now. The stupid trip insurance doesn’t cover pandemics. (I could probably get a doctors note to say I shouldn’t travel with my OCD this bad, but my OCD is so bad due to the damn pandemic, so it’d be cheating and I’
  5. Palimpsest

    London and the Cotswolds!

    I'm so very sorry. I was thinking about you and wondering whether you would have to postpone your trip. I think you are wise to put it off, because COVID-19 is not going away in a few weeks. It will get worse (more cases) before it gets better, but hopefully by people voluntarily using commonsense methods like social distancing, not gathering in large groups, staying home if they even suspect the are sick, and above all washing their hands, the spread can be controlled. Note, I said postpone not cancel your trip. I know it will be very hard for you and your mom to reschedule, but I ha
  6. anachronistic

    London and the Cotswolds!

    Unfortunately, after all of our planning and reservations, this stupid virus means that we aren’t going. Covid19 is currently running rampant in Massachusetts, about to get a lot worse. We are doing social distancing, with schools, libraries, churches, etc, closed and people asked to stay 6 feet away from each other at all times. The only reason we don’t have more actual diagnoses is because of an extreme lack of testing, but that will change this week. It is expected to get much worse, hospitals are preparing to be inundated and kids will be out of school until the end of April Based on
  7. samurai_sarah

    London and the Cotswolds!

    Glad I could help a little. "Transport for London" makes good money off the weekly tickets, because a lot of tourists don't realise just how much they'll end up walking. Tourists who don't know the distances will take the Tube from Leicester Square to Covent Garden. But it actually takes longer to navigate the maze that is Leicester Sq station than it takes to walk five minutes. Bear in mind that you can use the Oyster card (and naturally weekly tickets) on all forms of "Transport for London", which includes ferries. You don't get the commentary, but you get a good deal to go from central
  8. anachronistic

    London and the Cotswolds!

    I admit that I’m very sad that the finances to make a train trip don’t add up. But 2 tickets to Oxford and back cost more than renting a car in London for 4 days, plus we’d have to add the car rental from Oxford, too, which is roughly the same as renting from London. It makes no sense but you can’t have everything I guess. Any other good castles/palaces/great houses in London besides Hampton Court? They’re not Tube accessible and are having a jousting festival the week we are there. I’m scouring Atlas Obscura and making lists. @samurai_sarah you were of course right about the Oyster vs we
  9. scoutsadie

    London and the Cotswolds!

    You have every right to post in the travel section, @anachronistic - you're traveling to England!!! (And I am so envious!) London is my favorite city on the planet - I have only spent five days there in person, but I have read thousands and thousands of hours and pages of historical fiction about it, so it was a true thrill to be there when I visited in 2012. (I don't really believe in past lives or DNA place-memory, but if I did, I would bet that I have some ancient history or genetic connection to the place. I was born in America, but my ancestry is overwhelmingly UK.) Folks above
  10. Karma

    London and the Cotswolds!

    Sounds like you’re pretty organised @anachronistic. I’m Australian but have been to the UK several times. The cotswolds are lovely - if you can stay locally overnight you’ll have a chance to walk around it without the bus day tour groups. I second Hampton Court Palace. There are costumed staff wandering around, but they weren’t in your face. They have excellent audio guides of the place so you can explore at your own pace. In London I like to do guided walks as you learn so much more than just wandering on your own. I like the Original London Walks company - very knowledgeable
  11. samurai_sarah

    London and the Cotswolds!

    First things first: - Get an Oyster Card for TFL (Transport for London). Day tickets or weekly tickets cost an arm and a leg. The Oyster Card works like a debit card and winds up being cheaper. - Depending on what sites you want to visit, look into becoming a member of English Heritage and/or the National Trust. Once you're a member, you get free entry to all sites and it might come cheaper. As @Palimpsest noted, I'm actually in Scotland, so I'm not clear on the rules, when it comes to English Heritage, but the Scottish counterpart's membership fees for a year mean that I can visit E
  12. anachronistic

    London and the Cotswolds!

    Palimpsest I can see you reply now, don’t know why I didn’t before but computers are weird. Thank you so much for the tips! I truly appreciate them! We are going to figure out car rental and trains, etc, when we have our flights. (I’m not in charge of those). We’d (okay, I) certainly prefer to take a train to Oxford and rent there but it depends on the time of our return flight. My mom is a fearless driver, drove to Boston for years during the Big Dig, and has many years of experience with a stick. Plus I’ll be navigating. I was looking for one good castle/palace and Hampton Court it
  13. Palimpsest

    London and the Cotswolds!

    I haven't lived in London or the UK for years but have advised many American tourists. Also I think you are very brave and hope you do have the trip of a lifetime. You have some great ideas already. The Hop on Hop off tours get very good reviews from most people. They have a few different routes and you can avoid the ones that have boat rides included. Given when you are going (school break) I'd avoid the Tower of London and the Crown Jewels. Holy claustrophobia, Batman. https://www.hoponhopoffplus.com/london Given what you have said about yourself, I think central London w
  14. Hi, I’m a little intimidated to start the first topic in a club and I actually have no business being in a travel club at all as I very rarely travel. But for my birthday last year my mom promised me we could go to England as I’ve always wanted to go and have never left the country. (I’m in the US, outside Boston.) And this year it’s happening - last year my sibling had a nibling and it wasn’t feasible. We have rented an Airbnb in Little Venice in London for the last week of May then hope to rent a car and go to the Cotswolds for a weekend. I’m looking for any and all travel tips and
  15. I don't know if I mentioned already or not, but next week Thursday I'm flying down to Peru for this tour. https://www.trafalgar.com/en-us/tours/t/highlights-of-peru/ I'm going a day early in case there are flight issues but I have my fingers crossed that the weather will remain cooperative.
  16. Turkey (esp. Anatolia), Thailand, the Bahamas again, more of Jamaica, Germany again, Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Brazil again, Mexico, UAE, Korea, Croatia, Malta, Luxembourg, Texas, Vancouver, Greece, Cambodia, Chile, Argentina.
  17. Terrie

    DC this fall

    The trip was super fun. Metro was super easy. I had a blas, loved trvelling on my own, and am already thinking about where I want to go next.
  18. Once_Upon_A_Fundie

    DC this fall

    I lived in the DC metro for many years and consider that area my favourite in the US. Absolutely make sure you go to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. It is incredibly powerful; I am in no way a crier, but I sobbed. I feel like every single American needs to go there at least once. As the writer above indicated, Metro is safe. I was a daily commuter and never had issues. Also, if you get the chance for a couple of day trips, two recommendations: Mt. Vernon (George Washington's home and arguably the best historical site in the DMV), as well as Annapolis. Iron Rooster is delicious out i
  19. Terrie

    DC this fall

    Good to know about the metro. I'll only be taking it from the National airport into the city and then from near my hostel to the zoo, as well as return trips. The hostel is only a mile and a half from the National Mall, so no sense in doing anything but walking, unless the weather decides to hate me, big time.
  20. nausicaa

    DC this fall

    The carousel on the Mall is actually really cool and fun to ride, even as an adult. Each horse is carved and decorated to represent one of the fifty states. Think it's 50 cents a ride? We're not much of a food town, but nearby Arlington has a big Ethiopian community and some of the best Ethiopian restaurants in the country, apparently. The Monocle is pretty cool and a fancier restaurant with a lot of political history. Queen's English and Seven Reasons are the hot new restaurants (totally feel like Stefan from SNL typing that out...) Rooftop bar on top of The Watergate gives you a great
  21. Ok, so Washington DC isn't the most exotic place or anything, but I was supposed to go this past winter and had to cancel due to the government shut down. Mainly just doing the Smithsonian. I'm a sucker for musuems. Natural History, American History, African American History, Freer, American Indian History and the Zoo. Also going to do the Library of Congress. Plus an extra day where I might do the Newseum, or anything I missed. This will be my first ever solo vacation. I'm staying in a hostel, since I actually feel safer not all alone in a hotel room. (Work conferences, I do okay, becaus
  22. Chickenbutt

    Traveling to Iceland

    @OzlsnThank you for these sites. I will be reading over them. Especially the worst tourist traps. I am a sucker for stupid stuff...lol. I appreciate your help. ETA; Just read the stupid stuff and then went down the rabbit hole on other crazy stuff. I won't be doing any of those. But I do like to see stuff other people think is silly or goofy. Thinking about the worlds largest ball of yarn or something of the sort....lol.
  23. Ozlsn

    Traveling to Iceland

    I am so jealous! Not sure which sites you have found, but these are the ones I've just been drooling over: Inspired by Iceland - the official tourism site Gateway to Iceland - the official guide to Iceland Visit Reykjavik - Official city site Ferdamalastofa -Icelandic Tourism Board Department of Tourism Guide to Iceland - I got sucked in by the "9 worst tourist traps in Iceland" article. Iceland has tourist traps?! A lot of them look remarkably familiar...
  24. I often say that mine covers most of the world. Being slightly more realistic about likelihood and finances in the near future I would like to do the overland Bangkok to Singapore/Jakarta trip, and go round New Zealand. Long term is still Europe, Africa, Americas...
  25. Mr. Butt and I have the opportunity to travel to Reykjavik, Iceland next May (2020). I thought I read somewhere that Iceland requires travelers to have medical insurance. We have medical insurance here in the states, but it doesn't cover us internationally. If anyone is in Iceland, or has traveled there from the US, can you offer any advice? What I am needing to know is this: Does Iceland require insurance and how much? What will the weather be like in May? What to definitely see and what can be passed up? I am currently researching purchase of a Travel Medical Policy that will cover us
  26. So I am supposed to go to DC at the start of February. Currently on a countdown to deciding if I will cancel it. 1) I was supposed to go to the Smithsonian. That was 80% of my plans/goal. One of the biggest non-Federal attractions, the Spy Musuem, is closed as well, for renovations. 2) Even if there were things to do, I don't want to deal with the uncertainty of flying right now. Slow security lines, terminals closed for lack of security staff, etc. Obviously, in terms of impact, it's pretty minor. But it still bums me out. I may take a staycation, do some local things I don't normally d
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