Go and see Big Ben, he kicks...
Go and see Big Ben, he kicks arse on Buck's Palace and Trafalgar Square, although they are worth going to say you've been there and done that. Make sure you visit Westminster Abbey as well, definitely worth a look! I don't have a fondest memory of London yet as I am still here and still loving it!
London is a Haven
With a metropolitan area approaching 10 million souls, living space within London comes at a precious premium. Despite the crowds and the overwhelming population, London seems to handle the situation fairly well. On my first day there I was taken in by what an American would call elegance or grand style in something so simple as an apartment complex, such as the pictured one in Kensington.
Hay's Galleria information
This plaque reads:-
"In the mid 1850's, following the rise of the River Thames as the commercial lifeline of the City Of London, Sir William Cubitt was commissioned to build a new wharf around an enclosed dock. Ships from all over the world visited Hay's Wharf but the most beautiful were the tea clippers from India and China. By the end of the century, 80% of perishable foodstuff passed through the area which became known as the "Larder of London".
The great Hay's Wharf complex has been carefully restored to its former glory and those who visit the Galleria today stand on the same spot where the tall tea clippers edged their way into the dock 150 years ago"
Take some Time Out
The best way to find out what's going on in London is to buy the magazine Time Out. It comes out on Tuesday each week, with listings starting from Wednesday.
You'll find everything - from assorted events around town to museum and art exhibitions to theatre, film, clubs and sports. If it all gets too much, there's even a TV guide!
Mobile Phone / Cellphone
Mobile Cellphones are cheap in the UK. It is possible to pick up a phone for £30, insert a SIM card and keep it in credit on a Pay As You Go Basis. Depending on the SIM, there is a tarrif which distinguishes between calls on the same network, between networks, to landlines, international and so on. The basic Pay As You Go tarrifs can be very expensive because you often have to pay to recieve International calls. unlike most of the other call categories where you only pay to make calls. However, there are some SIMs which allow you to recieve International calls for free and make calls for modest amounts. However, if you are concerned how much people calling you pay., eg relatives, it may be better for you to call them.
In the UK the market is divided into four large GSM mobile operators: 02, Vodaphone, T-Mobile and Orange. They all have about the same porportion of the market in a highly competative market. Each of them sell SIMs for around £5 which can be used in the UK and provide you with a UK telephone number. You can buy these before you arrive in the UK, so you know your new phone number. Top up vouchers are widely available from phone shops and many small stores.
http://www.simcard.me.uk/uk_sim_card.htm These SIMs are expensive to use for foreign calls. However, International calls can be bought from other telecom operators. Either by buying a new SIM automatically linked to package of international call rates. (eg. 0044.co.uk sell these.) Alternatively, from any phone it is possible to use a 'call through operator'. Some of these are very easy to use. Call a special premium rate number to register your phone and top up your international account, then when you want to call an international number, dial a special access number first. There are lot of passthrough operators and their rates are the lowest in the business.
Here is a list of them for calls to the US, some at 0p per minute.
Here is one of these operators: