Author Topic: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR  (Read 11528 times)

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2015, 07:55:41 PM »
Sunday, July 5, 2015 fast day: 17th Tamuz Observed, flying to Paris; Le Marais
Sunday was a fast day, but it didn’t start particularly early in Gibralter: 5:42a! I went to shul (1.5 hour eidut hamizrach fast day) and packed up and left. The drive out at 10:15 on a Sunday morning was a lot better in terms of traffic both in Gibraltar itself and at the border.  Since we had time until our 2:20pm flight from Malaga, we decided to take the toll-free A-7 as opposed to the AP-7 toll road. It was a great drive, passing though small coastal towns and skipping the bigger ones. We arrived at the airport at 12:30ish which was just perfect. Hertz is located in the terminal parking garage, so returning the car was super easy and just a quick walk to the terminal.
 
Our flight on Vueling was uneventful. We landed in Paris Orly at 4:45 and proceeded to hire another Uber to get to our hotel. Trains from Orly take a long time, and though we didn’t have a busy schedule the rest of the day, we didn’t want to exert ourselves as we were fasting. There was a bit of traffic on the way to our hotel, the Park Hyatt Paris, but we made it there for €36 after selecting UberPool instead of UberX. If you do this you’re guaranteed a 10% savings. The unfortunate thing about Uber in Paris is the disappearance of UberPop, the cheapest option by far. As of July 3, 2015 (just 2 days before we arrived), UberPop was banned due to a taxi driver riot on June 26, 2015.
 
We arrived at the hotel at about 6:00pm and were given a standard room. I tried to upgrade with my Platinum status, but it was fashion week in Paris and the hotel was fully booked.  While the room was on the small side with a courtyard view, it had a great shower (with a sink and mirror in the shower!) and a Japanese style toilet.












Our Room (221) at the PHP

After getting settled we decided to take the Metro to Le Marais. We bought 2 books of tickets (which we used up without needing more) and got the charge refunded with Arrival+ points.  In Le Marais we stopped at Korcarz bakery to buy breakfast food for the next day. We bought a couple of cheese and spinach bourekas, a mushroom and leek quiche, a chocolate croissant, some olive bread and some rye bread (they were out of baguettes since it was so late in the day).  We also stopped at Damyel’s for some macarons and chocolate.  However the main reason we went was to pick up food for after the fast. We waited in a huge line to get a falafel from L’As du Fallafel, but it was well worth the wait. Next I tried to find a minyan for mincha (it was a fast day and all), and I ended up finding one a bit late (they’d finished leining already) at the large shul next to Pitzman. After mincha/maariv (they daven maariv after plag), we stopped by Pitzman to pick up a mini pizza for break fast as well.  With all our food in hand, we headed back to the hotel to wait for the fast to end at 11:01.






Bakery and Restaurants




Shul for mincha




Pizza from Pizmans and macarons from Damyel

It was really weird how easy the fast was for us. While we were both hungry, we were both going well, considering the hour. It was also unusual getting ready for bed while still fasting. Once we were all ready for bed, it was finally time to break the fast. Much to out delight the falafels were still warm, though the pizza was cold. That being said, that was one amazing pizza. I believe it all had to do with the dough/crust. It was slightly sweet and had char marks from the oven making it was simply amazing. We also really enjoyed the falafels. I got mine with picante (charif) and DW got it plain, but both were also one of the best (if not the best) falafels we’ve ever tasted. The 15-minute wait to order one was well worth it (especially since we weren’t doing anything). As soon as we were done eating, we just rolled right into bed, tired but full.
 
Monday, July 6, 2015 the Tuileries gardens, Louvre, Luxembourg gardens and a Segway tour
I davened Shachris at Beth-El, a kind of minyan factory about 18 minutes away from the hotel. Actually, I didn’t daven in Beth-El, but rather a shul across the street. I showed up for the 8:00am shachris which their website says was happening, but they didn’t seem to be having one and recommended I go across the street for the 8:00am shachris there. The walk both ways was simple and pretty.
 
After breakfast in our hotel room we headed out to the Tuileries gardens. We spent some time walking around and looking at the various statues and fountains before waiting in line at the Louvre to go in. I would have bought tickets in advance to skip the lines, but decided against it as they were more expensive than the student rates we got in the museum itself. However looking back at the 1-hour line we waited in I probably would have just bought the tickets online to skip all that.




Tuileries Gardens




The Louvre

In the museum itself we used the Rick Steves (free) audio guide via the app.  The tour lasts 45 minutes, but took us closer to 1¼ hours to complete.  We enjoyed the tour a lot and did not feel the need to stay longer. We’d had enough art for the day. Next it was off to Thaï One for lunch.
 
We walked to Thaï One which was only about a 20-minute walk from the Louvre. It has a very tiny dining area, and we got seats at a table in between 2 other (unrelated) customers. The restaurant is under Rav Rottenberg so the meat is not a problem here.  Since we have 2 Thai restaurants in LA, we had a good base to compare to, and this place didn’t disappoint. The flavors were spot on, the portion sizes were generous, and the service was quick and efficient.






Food from Thaï One

Next it was time to head to the Luxembourg garden via City Island and the Notre Dame Cathedral. I figured that if we’re walking to the gardens we might as well stop to see the outside of the cathedral, which was very nice. We didn't spend too long there (since we couldn’t go in), so we continued to the Luxembourg gardens, a 15-minute walk away.


Notre Dame

By now I’ve come to realize that what most cities call parks Paris calls gardens. Both the Tuileries and Luxembourg gardens were really just free parks you can walk around. The Luxembourg gardens were very pretty indeed, with a large a capella performance happening near where we sat down. I wouldn’t put it on a must see list, but they were nice if you have time.


Luxembourg Gardens
 
Before heading to our Segway tour near the Eiffel tower, we decided to walk around a bit in the Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood. It was very nice, but I found it hard to differentiate it from many of the other neighborhoods we saw in Paris.
 
From there we took a metro to our evening Segway tour.  The tour lasted 2.5 hours and was really fun. While not as comprehensive as a city hop-on/hop-off bus tour, it was definitely a lot more entertaining riding a Segway than sitting on a bus in traffic.
 
For dinner we went to L’Inte Caffe. We got there quite late, around 9:45pm, when they officially close at 10:15pm, and the place was packed. We got a seat, but service was really slow. We ordered a mushroom cream sauce pasta and a pasta with tomato sauce and eggplant, both great, and an excellent pana cotta for dessert. Dinner took about 1 hour (not too bad, but it did involve a lot of waiting), and when we finally walked back to the hotel it was quite late.








Food from L'Inte Caffe

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 the Arc du Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower
Once again I davened at the 8:00am shachris at the shul across from Beth-El.  After returning to the hotel, we had breakfast (that we’d picked up 2 days before) and headed out to walk down the Champs Élysée to the famed Arc. On the way we stopped off at the Élysée Palace (home of the President) and the historic George V (Four Seasons) hotel. While the Palace was kind of blocked due to July 14 celebration exercises, the George V hotel was magnificent. We were only there for a shot time, but it was really grand and worth seeing.


Lobby at George V

Once we arrived at the Arc we waited a few minutes to buy tickets, and were headed up the stairs in no time. There really are amazing panorama views of all of Paris from there. From the Eiffel Tower to Montmartre, it really is a great thing to do.
 

Champs Élysée as seen from the Arc






Other views from the Arc

Since we were in the area anyway, we headed to Charles Traiteur (a bakery) to buy breakfast food for the next day. We bough a baguette, a chocolate éclair, and a croissant, all three were amazing. Just down the block is Il Conte, where we went for lunch.
 
Il Conte was also really crowded, but we got a table here too. We ordered a pizza and a salad niçoise with a chocolate and banana filled crepe for dessert.  The interesting thing about the pizza was that they served it whole with a knife for you to cut it yourself, and they weren’t the only place in Paris to do that. The pizza had a super thin crust and was really good, just not as good as Pitzman.






Food from Il Conte

After refueling at Il Conte, we walked a short 15 minutes to the Eiffel tower. People had mentioned that the line to walk up is shorter than the line for the elevator, which was probably the case when we were there. However, what people didn’t say was that the line for the stairs could be really long, too, like 1 hour long! After waiting what seemed like a lot longer than 1 hour we climbed the tower to the first floor.
 
The cool thing about this climb as opposed to the Arc is that the stairs are outside which I rather enjoyed. It’s a lot cooler and breezier when you’re not surrounded by stone walls. We spent some time at the first floor looking around and taking pictures before climbing the rest of the way to the second floor.
 
The views from the second floor are better than the ones on the first floor, and supposedly nicer than the views from the hop floor. We didn’t go to the top, but after exploring the 2nd floor for a bit we just climbed down.


View of Champs de Mar as seen from the Eiffel Tower




Views from the Eiffel Tower

The plan was to spend some time in the Champs de Mars, but due to some rain showers, those plans got changed, and we ended up spending time near a bench under a shelter there waiting for the rain to stop. After it did stop, we headed back (via subway) to the PHP to get ready for dinner.
 
Il Palazzo was next on the itinerary for dinner. We got there on the early side (6:45ish) and only found 2 other tables of people, though many more filled up by the time we left. We got a pasta and an eggplant gratin here. Both good, but our least favorite of the places we tried. We ordered a tiramisu for dessert that as really disappointing. It was 90% cream and only 10% cookies.








Food from Il Palazzo

After dinner we walked around the block to see the (outside of the) Great Synagogue of Paris. It was grand and old, and probably looked really great inside. We walked back to our hotel for an early evening in preparation for our early morning the next day.
 
Wednesday, July 7, 2015 Versailles, Palais Garnier, Montmartre and the 19th
This was our last full day in Paris. We started it early with an 8:00am half-day tour to Versailles with City Vision (booked via Musement for 50% off). There was an unusual amount of traffic leaving Paris (also due to July 14) that by the time we got to Versailles we only had 1:20 minutes before we needed to be back on the bus.  While 90% of those who came to Versailles with us decided to come back on their own via the train, we had a tour booked at 2:30pm that I didn’t want to miss, so 1:20 it was for us.  We were given audio guides as part of the tour, but we didn’t really use them. We rushed through the rooms, reading what we could, and listening to the audio guides here and there.  We really wanted to get outside to the gardens.
 
While I was under the impression that the gardens were not included in our tour and cost extra, we were pleasantly surprised to find them just open and free. We spent a good 40 minutes in the gardens walking mainly down the middle until the main + shaped water feature in the middle.  At the end of the day, despite it being a bit rushed, we enjoyed our time at Versailles and didn’t feel like we missed out on that much. True, it would have been nicer to go slow and listen to the whole guide, but c’est la vie.







Bush-trimming stencils
Versailles

Since the traffic on the way back was also pretty bad once we got to the Arc de Triomphe, we asked the bus driver to just let us off there. We took the metro to Izaaki, a Japanese restaurant 2 blocks away from Il Palazzo. We chose this place for its location and the fact that it wasn’t an Italian place. While not Glatt, we didn’t order meat anyway so we were fine.
 
We ordered two of the lunch specials (careful, no English menu here, but there is one with lots of pictures). While they are an okay deal at ~€21 each, the portions are on the small side, making us want to order more food. The food itself was very tasty though.








Food from Izaaki

Next we were off to Palais Garnier for a theater tour. This theater is the one that Phantom of the Opera took place in and as such was something we wanted to see. We’ve visited theaters in Buenos Aires and Rio, so we kind of have a thing going.  This tour didn’t disappoint. It was really informative, and we were even lucky enough to get to sit inside the actual theater, something not everyone gets to do since they have rehearsals during the day.



The Phantom's box


Palais Garnier

When the tour was over, we went took the train to Montrartre. We found the funicular, and DW took it up while I walked (I prefer to walk). The views from the top are just amazing, although there is no Eiffel Tower view from there.  We spent some time there before walking though the town on our way via metro to the 19th arrondissement for more kosher food shopping.
 

View from Montmartre

Once we arrived we did our shopping: Charles Traiteur (Italian bread for breakfast and premade sandwiches for lunch the next day), Ardleys (milk chocolate as a gift), Damyels (pareve chocolate for gifts), and Hypercacher (cheese and biscuits for us to take home as well as cheese and a yogurt-like thing for breakfast).  After our shopping was complete we went to Tib’s for dinner.
 
While I’ve heard mixed reviews about Tib’s we both found the food we ordered great. We ordered another Pizza and a mushroom and onion crepe in a cheese sauce. It might not sound that good, but boy was it delicious. We skipped dessert here as well, and headed back to the PHP. One the way to the Metro I made sure to pass by the Music Center (the concert hall) which as a really unique shape and outside. Too bad tours of the inside are only starting in September!  We made it back to the PHP for our last night in Paris.






Food from Tib's for Dinner


Paris Philharmonic
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 10:33:39 PM by Yehoshua »

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2015, 07:56:37 PM »

Why? A business revenue ticket under $1500, which Award ticket can beat that?
Exactly! Plus I got nearly 20k Skypesos out of it.

Online EJB

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2015, 08:02:17 PM »
Exactly! Plus I got nearly 20k Skypesos out of it.

So it ending up costing you net apprx $1499.9999

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2015, 08:12:57 PM »
So it ending up costing you net apprx $1499.9999
Close.

Offline Chapshnell

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2015, 09:20:07 PM »
Yehoshua, who wouldve thought you would be a bigger foodie than Dan..... Loved the TR. Absolutely loved it. DDMS material IMO

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2015, 09:48:50 PM »
Yehoshua, who wouldve thought you would be a bigger foodie than Dan..... Loved the TR. Absolutely loved it. DDMS material IMO
Oh, you have no idea how much of a foodie I am.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2015, 10:20:49 PM »
Thursday, July 8, 2015 train to London and the WB Studio Tour
Our train to London was scheduled for 10:10am from Gare du Nord. After checking out of the hotel and paying the city tax (I thought free nights were supped to be totally free!) we took the metro to the station. Finding the Eurostar trains was a bit confusing, but once we found them it was pretty straightforward: French customs, UK customs, board the train.
 
After my harrowing experience on the train ride between Venice and Rome last summer, I was quite apprehensive about this trip. Thank God everything worked out just fine and I didn’t feel the slightest bit nauseous.  We got to London on time and popped over to Kings Cross station (across the street) so DW could take a picture at Platform 9¾ of Harry Potter fame.


Platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross
 
Then we had to try to get to our hotel, the Park Tower Knightsbridge.  Normally this would have been a straight shot on the Piccadilly line, but due to a transit strike all tube and train services were suspended for Thursday.  This meant massive gridlock and traffic on the streets. After 5 attempts at ordering an Uber (and Uber cancelling all of them after they were ordered), we just decided to take a taxi for £20 instead of a bus. If a taxi going the fastest route took 40 minutes a bus would have taken 2 hours!
 
Let me take a moment to talk about the hotel. When I told the cabbie the name of the hotel he immediately said he knew it as a Sheraton. I thought this was weird, as it’s been a Luxury Collection hotel for a while now, but thought nothing more of it.  When we arrived, I had to wait a good 10 minutes for someone to help me (there was not Gold and Platinum line). Once we got helped, I was told our room was not ready. Since we had told the hotel we’d be there by 1:00pm the day before I thought that meant a room would be ready, but no, nothing was available. We left our stuff with the concierge and walked 5 minutes to a Sainsbury’s to buy some DD sandwiches for Dinner and lunch the next day. On the way there we stopped in Hyde Park (across the street from the hotel) to eat the sandwiches we’d brought from Paris for lunch.  We got back to the hotel at 2:00 and the room still wasn’t ready. Since we had cheese and chocolate with us, I’d asked the concierge to refrigerate them (along with the DD sandwiches for lunch the next day) and please bring everything to our room once it was ready. I’d also asked for the minibar to be emptied to make room for our things.  We then walked to Victoria Coach Station to catch our bus to Leavesden Studios and the WB Harry Potter Studio Tour.








Park Tower Knightsbridge, A Sheraton Luxury Collection Hotel

Let’s skip the tour for a minutes and fast forward 7 hours later. We got back to the hotel at 10:15pm from the tour. I again waited 10 minutes to get the key to our room and asked if the bags had been brought up. While the lady helping us didn’t know, she said to go up and if the bags weren't up yet she’d send them up. Sure enough the bags were not in our room, but 2 minutes after we got there they were delivered: along with our bag of refrigerated things that was very warm to the touch.  I immediately asked the hotel what happened, as the things didn’t appear to have been refrigerated as I’d asked.  Apparently what had happened was the room was ready at 3:15pm, when a bellboy brought our bags up to the room. Seeing that we weren’t there, he brought them all back down never put the refrigerator bag back in the fridge. It sat out for 7 hours! While the chocolate and cheese were fine (it’s hard cheese), I was not about to eat the bagel, cream cheese and lox as well as mayo on the other sandwiches after being out for 7 hours. It took some convincing, but the hotel eventually did go out and replace everything on my receipt from Sainsbury’s earlier that day, including the food that didn’t go bad! I certainly give them props for that! It might have been 11:50pm by the time they delivered the food, and I might have already been in bed trying to go to sleep, but in the end of the day the fixed the problem.
 
Now back to the studio tour. Yes, there was tons of traffic leaving town, but we both had a great time on the studio tour! If you’re a Harry Potter fan this is a must visit if you’re in London, especially if you’ve never been to Universal Orlando and seen the HP sections of the parks there. When we got back to the hotel we needed to get to bed right away as to be ready for our 8:00am tour the next morning. Too bad that didn’t happen!


Our ride to Leavesden Studios











It really works! It's mechanical, not CGI!






















Harry Potter Studio Tour, Leavesden Studios

Friday, July 10, 2015 Stonehenge
We didn’t have many plans other than to go visit Stonehenge on Friday. We’d booked a tour (through Musement for 50% off like before) with Golden Tours for the Stonehenge morning tour. We’d have liked to combine it with Windsor and Oxford, but we didn’t have enough time given that it was erev Shabbos.  Our bus driver was great, and we had enough time to see the “pile of stones” (as he put it). Is it a must see? Not sure, but I really did want to see it, and I wasn’t disappointed.
 

Stonehenge


The original Kew Gardens

We got back to London and walked back to our hotel to check out by 4:00pm.  I tried getting compensation (not just replacements) for what happened the day before, but the manager felt that replacements were enough, so no bonus points for me. We checked out, left our bags with the concierge once again, and walked to Hyde Park again to walk around some more. We visited the Holocaust Memorial, but it’s not something that’s really elaborate.
 
Collecting our bags from the hotel, we headed down the block to take the tube (now open again) to DW’s friend for Shabbos in Kingston in SW London.
 
Shabbos, July 11, 2015 Shabbos in Kingston
Just as Shabbos in Gibraltar the week before, Shabbos in Kingston was really nice as well. It was nice for DW to see her friend after 7 years and spend Shabbos in the out of town community. It’s a really small one, with mainly older members and younger not-yet-frum people.
 
We took a nice walk around the area on Shabbos and spent motzei shabbos there as well. The community was all really friendly, and we got meet many people of all different levels of religiosity.
 
Sunday, July 12, 2015 London and flight to Madrid
After an 8:00am shachris in Kingston, we took at 9:10am train back to London for our Changing Guard tour with Matt of Fun London Tours at 10:10am in Piccadilly Circus.  No sooner had we left the station in Kingston did we realize that we’d forgotten our chocolate and cheese bag in the fridge. Urgh! I quickly texted our hosts and they said they’d be out all day except between 1:00-2:00pm. Ok, we’d go back after the tour. We dropped our suitcases at the Left Luggage facility in Waterloo Station (£10/day/bag), so we wouldn’t have to carry them around with us all day.
 
The tour itself was excellent. Matt is a great tour guide, and despite the London 10k for cancer research that was happening in Piccadilly Circus when we got there, we were able to find him and continue the tour as normal.




Changing Guard tour, old guard




Changing Guard tour, new (guest) guard: The Royal Air-force


Changing Guard tour, the switch

As soon as the tour was done, we headed back to Kingston (it’s about a 55 minute trip each way!) and picked up our stuff. I wasn’t going to leave all that stuff in Europe! The original plan was to make a 2:00pm free walking tour leaving from the Apple Store in Covent Gardens, but due to our little snafu, we missed the tour by 15 minutes and decided just to walk around ourselves.
 
We started with Trafalgar Square, detoured to Tesco for more food and British candy, followed by walking down the Embankment to 10 Downing Street. From there we walked to Parliament and Westminster Abby for outside pics before walking over Westminster Bridge to the South Bank. We got our pictures of Big Ben and the London Eye, and watched some street performers until it was time to pick up our bags and catch our train to London City Airport (LCY) for out flight to Madrid.
 
LCY is a tiny airport. We had checked in already online, so we just went straight to security, which had nearly no lines. The waiting area is basically like one large lounge, with free wifi but no free food. Thirty minutes before our departure they announced our gate and we all walked there, a 2-minute walk. At the gate though they needed to check all suitcase carry ons since it was a small plane (E190SR) and a full flight. Despite begging to keep my bag with me, it got checked though to baggage claim with a priority sticker.




Our ride back to MAD

We left on time and though we were supposed to arrive 25 minute early, we were put in a holding pattern for 30 minutes so we ended up arriving a bit late at 10:10pm. By the time the bags finally came out (a good 40 minutes after landing) we made our way outside to catch the free hotel shuttle for our quick overnight by the airport.
 
We decided to stay at the Tryp Madrid Alameda Aeropuerto Hotel due to its proximity to the airport, free shuttle, and cheap price (€43/night after using 2000 Meliã point I got for signing up for the program). The hotel itself was nice, not PHP nice, but more than adequate. They rate themselves a 4-star, but I’d rate them 3 or 3.5. We immediately got ready for bed and ready for our return flight the next day.








Tryp Madrid Alameda Aeropuerto Hotel

Offline zow

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2015, 10:56:27 PM »
Really an outstanding trip report, Yehoshua, in all respects: the narrative, the photography, the organization.  Excited to read the culmination (trip home).  Thanks for all the effort and sharing. Yasherkoach.

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2015, 11:20:34 PM »
Really an outstanding trip report, Yehoshua, in all respects: the narrative, the photography, the organization.  Excited to read the culmination (trip home).  Thanks for all the effort and sharing. Yasherkoach.
You're welcome. The end will hopefully be up soon.

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2015, 11:27:18 PM »
Incredible TR! Thanks!

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2015, 11:32:50 PM »
Incredible TR! Thanks!
You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed/found it useful.

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2015, 11:37:49 PM »
Monday, July 13, 2015 flying home, Madrid-Amsterdam-LA
We got up at 5:30am to catch the 6am shuttle to the airport. We were downstairs 15 minutes early to check out. Good thing we were too, as the lady working was super slow and we almost missed the thrice-hourly shuttle.
 
We got the airport in 5 minutes, checked in with AirEuropa (they operated our flight to Amsterdam) and were through priority security in 10 minutes. I tried to go to a lounge to daven, but the lounge in T2 where we were leaving from was closed for renovations and I didn’t feel like walking 17 minutes to the next terminal. Instead I found a deserted and dark area near the gate and davened shachris there.
 
The flight to Amsterdam was uneventful. We landed a bit late (another holding pattern) and visited the KLM Crown Lounge near the F gates. It was a nice lounge, large and spacious, although no kosher food other than fruit.

Our flight to LA left on time and as well and was uneventful and long: a 10:15 daytime flight. Good thing we were quicker than the 11:00 scheduled time.  We landed back in LA, quickly cleared customs with our trusty Global Entry, and were in an Uber (free after credits) back home in no time.




KLM J, AMS-LAX on a 744 Combi, seats 1J and 1K


Lunch #1 first course. My first time having china on a plane


Lunch #2 before landing

Well that's it! Thanks for reading. I hope you either found this entertaining, informative or both.

Fin

Offline AJK

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2015, 12:40:52 AM »
The cities we visited:
Madrid (1 day)
Barcelona (1 day)
Seville (½ day)
Gibraltar (2 days)
Paris (4 days)
London (4 days)

Oiy va voy.  This much travel in that short of time while actually trying to see stuff makes me want to cry for you  :'( especially the part of only having an hour in Versailles! :)

Thanks for cranking out a great TR, tho!

The only thing holding me back from spending Shabbos in GIB is the AFAIK lack of Kosher Shabbos takeout food, my wife would never agree to eat by some random guy.

That's truly unfortunate.

Oftentimes being able to meet and interact with the locals over shabbas, like for meals and such, are the highlights of international trips.

After an 8:00am shachris in Kingston, we took at 9:10am train back to London for our Changing Guard tour with Matt of Fun London Tours at 10:10am in Piccadilly Circus.  No sooner had we left the station in Kingston did we realize that we’d forgotten our chocolate and cheese bag in the fridge. Urgh! I quickly texted our hosts and they said they’d be out all day except between 1:00-2:00pm. Ok, we’d go back after the tour. We dropped our suitcases at the Left Luggage facility in Waterloo Station (£10/day/bag), so we wouldn’t have to carry them around with us all day.
 
The tour itself was excellent. Matt is a great tour guide, and despite the London 10k for cancer research that was happening in Piccadilly Circus when we got there, we were able to find him and continue the tour as normal.

I found Matt to be excellent to. Probably the best way to see the changing of the guard.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2015, 12:46:50 AM »



That's truly unfortunate.

Oftentimes being able to meet and interact with the locals over shabbas, like for meals and such, are the highlights of international trips.


Agree, but my wife doesn't go for it.

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Re: Yehoshua's Spain, Gibraltar, Paris & London TR
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2015, 12:53:06 AM »
Sad state of affairs.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper