Tag Archives: london

LCY – AMS: Quicker flight than the taxi ride to the airport.

Sometimes, trying to save time sees you spending even more of it…

Every now and then you hear a frustrated business traveler complaining about it taking longer to get to the airport than to fly to their destination. Well, this time that business traveler is me, for I’ve just set myself a record: a recent drive to an airport took twice as long as the flight itself! It was in London, but the airport wasn’t Heathrow or Gatwick or Luton, it was London City Airport – just 18 kilometers from our hotel near Hyde Park: a lot nearer. But we were driving for a whole 90 minutes! Oh my grrrr.

// And before you wonder why we didn’t take the Tube, let me just explain that we had with us fat and heavy suitcases to see us through a whole week of business traveling across four countries. Tried it before; the only conclusion: never again! The Underground is far too cramped for comfort with big suitcases.

Read on…

Thames Path – pt. 4.

Hi folks!

Since April 2016 I’ve been sneaking in strolls marches along the River Thames, since I’m lucky enough to visit London rather regularly on business. Not repeat marches of the same stretches of riverbank of course, but different sections – since there’s quite a lot of riverbank to be marched here. Here’s my first stretch, here’s the second, the third… so that makes this riverbank ramble my fourth already.

So what’s the attraction? Why a whopping four (and counting) visits (and saunters) already? Well, it’s mostly all down to something called the Thames Path – a neat and well-paved/tarmacked pathway that runs along the full length of the river – all ~300 kilometers of it!

Now, I’m never shy of extreme tourism, where there are precisely zero paths – plus zero civilization whatsoever, come to think of it – but when I’m short of time, and in London that’s always, I like to rely on paths to make sure our trekking is just that – straight trekking – not finding the way, losing our way, navigating tricky unforeseen obstacles and so on. Make sense? Alrighty. Just had to explain that in case you think I’m going soft :).

This time our Thames-walking took us away from the capital’s center – and turned into a veritable ‘London as you’ve never seen it before’ experience…

Read on: A green and pleasant land, floods, pubs, allotments, stormtroopers…

XIA – PEK – SVO – LHR – NAS – LHR – PHEW.

I’ve been getting about quite a bit this fall, and practically every day I’ve been as busy as a bee. It’s that slightly disorienting routine I get into every few months or so: each day something new – starting with the hotel room I wake up in.

But the other day it wasn’t a hotel room. Upon waking, my first question to myself was the usual ‘Where am I?’, but the answer this time came ‘in an Airbus!’ Indeed I was, flying Xi-an – Beijing – Moscow – London – the Bahamas – London over several days.

Such continent hopping in a short time with lots on the work agenda forces my happy-snapping habit into its minimalist regime. This isn’t so bad, as the pics that do manage to get taken are normally very much ‘greatest  hits’ and no padding. Thus, this post: ‘Greatest Hits of the Last Several Days’!

First, here’s a masterpiece from Petrovich taken at dawn at Danxia:

Before you ask about the fly, let me make the introductions: please meet our pet fly, whom we carry around the world with us in a jar and sometimes let him out for a walk fly :).

And now for a brief rundown of my recent continent hopping…

Read on: Asia > Europe > North America > Europe…

Thames Path – No Faff.

The other week, in London on various work matters, A.S. and I managed to find the time to continue our stroll along the Thames Path. I say continue as I’d covered a good stretch of it before – last year I think, only with A.B., not A.S. Anyway, the Thames Path starts (or ends) at the Thames Barrier (near London City Airport) and finishes (or starts) somewhere up by the river head. Yes – it’s long. A whole ~300km long! And since, though not fully gym-shy we’re not quite Ultraman triathalonists, we take sections of this premium path separately when in town, this time from the very end/start – the barrier – to the Golden Jubilee Bridge, and from there we wander off-pistepath to other London places of interest, of which there are plenty, as you’ll either know or guess.

Read on: A brief summary of the previous segments …

Foggy London.

Phew. That was a tough two days in the UK capital. Herewith, a few words and a lot of pics of those two days…

It was two days of rising at the crack of dawn and getting to bed late. Three conferences + three speeches thereat + lots of meetings + lots of interviews + lots of traffic jams + lots of walking (to avoid the traffic jams) + nothing else! I mean – nothing non-work interesting or touristic. Boo. Still, did manage to take a few snaps over the two days:

A murky Thames:

Read on: A deluxe surprise…

Another London Half-Marathon.

Hi folks!

Onward we march on our Thames-side hike. The other day you got the first leg of this day’s walk (taking in a cable car ride + Greenwich and arriving at the Cutty Sark); here’s the second leg.

After the Cutty Sark we came upon the entrance to the under-Thames foot tunnel again through which A.B. and I walked the other week. Not this time…

…This time we didn’t turn right and down through the tunnel, we carried straight on – along the embankment of the river. Why not we thought: the path was nice and smooth, there was loads to look at, the sun was out… even the clouds that day were worth photographing. Yep, no tunnel today…

Read on: Hup two three four, hup two three four…

Back Along the Thames to Greenwich.

What ho, folks!

I’ve been all week in London on business: two conference speeches; interviews, business lunches – all as per the norm. Also as per the norm – a little sightseeing fitted in for good measure. Just the other day I was real lucky that all the work for the day was to be completed before lunch, leaving the rest of the day for recreation. So that morning I donned the trusty ‘smart’ jeans, put my sneakers in my bag for changing into from my office shoes, and out we headed after the obligatory Full English :).

The morning’s work I mentioned consisted of a presentation given at Cloud Expo Europe. This was held in the enormous ExCel London, here, which I soon discovered was not far from the Thames, my fave river :). So it was Thames-wards we – my travel companion A. Sh. and I – headed after the conference…

From the exhibition hall it’s just five minutes’ walk to the Emirates Air Line cable car link that crosses the Thames – the one A.B. and I saw but didn’t have time for just the other week. So glad we had time this week as a short ride on it is just awesome. Highly recommended – if the sun’s out, like it was for us.

Read on: Back down to earth…

What Do Falling Petunias Say to Themselves?…

…”Oh no, not again?!

Oh yes. I know because it’s in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I quote:

“Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was ‘Oh no, not again?!’. Many people have speculated that, if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that, we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.”

I was reminded of that paragraph earlier today. I was on an airplane yet again and looking out of the left-side window down at the passing paysages below. ‘Oh no, not again?!’ I thought as I glanced at the map on the screen in front of me showing the plane’s trajectory: passing over Amsterdam on my way from Moscow over to London. Just the other day I flew the exact same route, only the other way round!

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“Hmmm, a bit like the petunia, only the other way round,” I thought. I’m not sure if that’s self-criticism or an overestimation; physicists and botanists have different views on this topic, so I won’t comment. I’ll just say that coming in to land at Heathrow was just as it should be: with London fully in view through the window!

Over there is where my travel companion A.B. and I walked a half-marathon along the banks of the Thames last week…

Read on: back in Blighty…

London Half-Marathon.

I normally do these here blogposts according to the following M.O.: if there aren’t many photos to go on, then lots of text needs to make up for that; if there are plenty of photos, I let them do the talking and ease off on the word count…

Today folks, there’ll be few words. That’s the thing about the UK’s capital: there’s always so much to see and snap. I was there at the weekend with my travel companion A.B. – also a Londonophile – and we ran a veritable photographic half-marathon along stretches of the banks of the Thames I hadn’t checked out before, taking in all the nooks and crannies along the way.

The night before our photo-marathon we stayed in my fave hotel in the capital: Ham Yard. Not the nearest lodgings to the Thames, but just as well: our warm-up in getting to the river took in St. Paul’s Cathedral – and of course we just had to get up to its famous dome…

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Taking photos and videos is forbidden inside the cathedral, but the views from the top and also all around it are simply stunning – desktop-wallpaper-able.

Read on: Orchestras play alfresco…

3-in-1: history, innovation and business travel.

I find myself in many different far-flung places on this planet, but quite often they’re… predictable: world capitals, business hubs, Must-See places…

But occasionally I also get to less obvious spots. Example: Sviyazhsk. Heard of it? Probably not!

Well, it’s an ancient town, now a village, located at the confluence of the Volga and Sviyaga Rivers.

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According to our excellent excursion guide (I normally trust good guides more than, say, Wikipedia), the short history of the town is as follows:

Read on: Ambitious!…