Random thoughts upon leaving England today for my last week in Europe.
Didn’t get to use the London Eye ticket I bought, which is a little disappointing, but what I saw instead of riding a giant Ferris Wheel was more than worth it. Hopefully someone else will put it to good use.
The Oyster Card makes life easy, and I recommend it for anyone touring around England! Put down a £5 deposit, charge it up with some credit, and never worry about the tube again. It’s fast, figures out the best value ticket for your day’s journeys, and gives you a discount on every trip. You avoid collecting a load of used paper tickets, don’t have to put a name against it so there’s no anonymity problem (there, at least – the rest of London, the UK really, has deep privacy problems; thanks Tony), and at the end of your visit you stop by a ticket window to get back your remaining credit and the deposit. As they say, Brilliant!
I did leave with more GBPs than I wanted; a result of being extra-prepared for my hike, for those independent B&Bs which require cash. Not planning a return visit anytime soon, so will try to find someone up for an exchange.
The Eurostar from London to Paris feels the way all international travel should feel: fast, quiet, convenient, comfortable. The announcement alert tone in the Gare du Nord sounds like a clip from The X Files.
Oh, and a personal note to British Border Security: I’m leaving now. Deep breath.