Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A London layover - 3 stories

I'm getting so good at selfies!
Get yourself a real selfie on Tower Bridge!
creativecommons image ironypoisoning on Flickr

3 hours in London: the Layover - Rick Loves It
Rick (aka Erica) has been to London before, so she knew what she was doing when she squeezed in a quick trip into the city centre. Here's what she managed to see and do:
Everyone loves a layover! Not always – but in a city like London it isn’t so bad! When I traveled from Barcelona to Orlando, we had a 6 hour layover in London. By the time we got through the slowest customs line of my life at LHR, that turned into about 3 hours. Here is how I got to see some of the main tourist attractions in the city of London, in a tiny window of time. 4:20 PM : We’re off! Hop on the Heathrow Express > Paddington Station... [read Erica's story]

Layover with the Queen - Married with Luggage
In this layover story, travelingbrunette shares her 12 hour London layover, including seeking out and finding the famous 'Platform 9 and 3/4' (with hints for you to find it too!).
I was real excited when I, once again, saw a 12hr layover in London, England, on my flight itinerary. There is absolutely nothing better than a relaxed stroll through chaotic London. For me personally, that is a perfectly scheduled itinerary... [read travelingbrunette's story]

My 24 hour London layover - Miss Wanderlust
World traveller Katie did some careful planning to maximize her sightseeing in London, and shares her results.
We navigated through the airport to the Underground desk, purchasing two unlimited travel cards for £18 that lasted until the next morning. We planned our 25 hours very carefully to take full advantage of our time, choosing a hotel on the Picadilly Line, which runs directly from Heathrow and connects with many of the main tourist sights. From the time we got off of the plane to the time we walked into our hotel, only an hour had passed. We gave ourselves a pat on the back for that one... [read Karlie's story]

Related resources
Layover ideas and things to do in London
London Pass Including Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Independent Layover Tour to Windsor from London Gatwick or Heathrow Airport
Heathrow's slick new transport screens
London: closest airports to LHR Heathrow Airport

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Memorial sites near Paris Beauvais Airport

Newdoundland Memorial Beaumount-Hamel
 creativecommons image adriam_fl on Flickr
While we tend to criticize Paris Beauvais Airport for its location (it is a LONG way from Paris) and lack of services, Beauvais does have a huge upside:
It is situated relatively near 6 important war memorial sites

Destination Beauvais Paris, a service of Beauvais Tourism, provides excellent information on each of the memorial sites, how to reach them, opening hours and website links.

The "Armistice Clearing" and Armistice Museum
Just 1 hour from Paris Beauvais Airport, tucked in the Compiègne Forest, lies the "Armistice Clearing", where the 1918 and 1940 armistices were signed. In the Armistice Museum, you can see a replica of the famous railway carriage in which, at 5am on November 11, 1918 the fist armistice was signed.

The Internment and Deportation Memorial and Royallieu Camp site 
Another Compiègne memorial site, the Internment and Deportation Memorial, site tells the story of nearly 45,000 Jews, political prisoners, French Resistance fighters, communists, Russian and American civilians interned at Royallieu Camp between 1941 and 1944.

The Historial of the Great War Museum in Péronne 
Just 1.5 hours from Paris Beauvais Airport in Péronne, the Historial of the Great War Museum aims to share the day-to-day lives of French, English and German soldiers during the First World War. Of particular interest are everyday items left behind by the soldiers.

The Somme 1916 Museum in Albert 
Recognizing the central role northern Somme played during the First World War, the Somme 1916 Museum highlights the everyday lives of the many brave soldiers.

The "Chemin des Dames" memorial trail 
This World War I memorial trail overs 35 kilometres, and is just ,2 hours from Paris Beauvais Airport.

The Battle of the Somme, 1916 - the Memorial Route
The Memorial Route near Beauvais allows you to grasp the Battle of Somme's magnitude. Numerous sites, memorials and chapels pay tribute to the soldiers from no less than 25 nations, including:
  • The Thiepval Missing Soldiers Memorial and the Tower of Ulster - 16 pillars atop the hill at Thiepval list the names of soldiers whose bodies were never found during the battle. Nearby, Ulster Tower commemorates the bravery of Irish soldiers. 
  • The Newfoundland Memorial of Beaumont-Hamel - erected to honour the many Canadians who fought and died at Somme. The memorial includes a cariibou statue, and a panoramic view of the well-preserved battlefield, complete with trenches. 
  • The Lochnagar Crater at La Boisselle - created from the explosion of mines that launched the Battle of Somme and led to the death of many Allied infantry. A commemorative ceremony is held in the immense crater every July 1st. 
  • The Australian Memorials of Pozières and Villers-Bretonneux - commemorate the Australian soldiers who stopped German troops on April 25, 1918, which led to the November 11th Armistice. Anzac Day is commemorated at Villers-Bretonneux annually. 
  • The South African Memorial and Museum of Longueval - pay tribute to the bravery and loss of South African lives at Delville Woods (Devil's Wood). 
  •  For more information, be sure to visit the Destination Beauvais Paris - Memorial Tourism website.

Related resources
10 unique Paris tours
Rock Your Layover: Paris
Layover ideas for the world's worst airports (2015)
Paris Beauvais-Tille Airport (BVA) transportation guide
Beauvais-Paris - more than just a stopover, it's a destination

Sunday, 8 November 2015

A Reykjavik layover - 3 stories

La Laguna Azul ( Blue Lagoon ) en Islandia
The Blue Lagoon is the ultimate layover experience
creativecommons image azuaje on Flickr
Reykjavik, Iceland: the best place in the wold to have a layover  - Coffee & Insulin
Sarah had a 10 hour layover in Reykjavik, and spent most of it in the Blue Lagoon, and you'll want to too, when you read her account...
I headed down to Iceland Air’s arrival hall to see what I could do, and despite my time limit, found many options. There were several kiosks providing trips to the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa about 20 minutes away by bus, and frequent shuttles to the center of Reykjavik. Although a bit pricey (around 65 euros for the roundtrip bus ride + entrance fee) after seeing a few pictures of the cloudy blue water surrounded by moony landscapes, I decided the Blue Lagoon was worth the splurge... [read Sarah's story]

I may have fallen in love during my layover - Miss Adventure
Susanna found herself in Iceland, by accident, as a result of a good airfare, and made the most of her visit.
I booked an airplane flight on a budget airline called Iceland air. Which meant I had a nine hour layover in Iceland. When I first got off my plane I was tired and a bit nervous... Eventually though, I decided to just march right past my fears and take the opportunity to see a bit of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. I’m so glad I did... [read Susanna's story]

Twelve hours in Reykjavik: the layover of a lifetime - Amanda Ruggeri
Amanda gives you a play-by-play of activities throughout her 12 hour day in Iceland's capital.
While booking flights from New York to Stockholm, it came down to two choices. An expensive, non-stop flight or a cheaper seat on Icelandair with an 18-hour layover in Reykjavik. I didn’t hesitate for a moment. Icelandair, the savvy, Reykjavik-based airline... [read Amanda's story]

Related resources
Reykjavik Ideas and Things to Do in Rejkjavik
Blue Lagoon Spa Transfer
Reykjavik Keflavik International Airport (KEF) transportation guide
Reykjavik Airport (RKV) transportation guide
Icelandair Stopover - how it works
Reykjavik layover luggage storage options