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Author Topic: England Trip - a reprisal - input sought, please (Wales and Scotland included)  (Read 2142 times)

Offline Citizen Sade

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Re: England Trip - a reprisal - input sought, please
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2024, 01:07:33 PM »
I'd recommend splurging on afternoon tea at one of the hotels - eg the Savoy or Dorchester.  You'll have to book but it is a very nice experience.
Good shout. You could also do it at the upmarket Fortnum & Mason’s department store and pick up some quintessentially British gifts while you’re there. Mind you, the same goes for Betty’s in York.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2024, 01:09:10 PM by Citizen Sade »

Offline anevilgiraffe

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Re: England Trip - a reprisal - input sought, please
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2024, 01:44:29 PM »
If you do want to go to an out of town Cathedral, Salisbury’s is much more impressive.

as recommended by the FSB

Offline fastolfrus

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If you or your wife are into art, apart from the National & Tate galleries in London, don't forget the galleries in Edinburgh. The National gallery of Scotland is really good. There is a seperate gallery for modern art if you're into sharks in formaldehyde.
Gary, Glynis, and Alasdair (there are three of us, but we are too mean to have more than one login)

Online FifteensAway

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Thanks so much for all the great input so far. 

I've modified the thread title a bit and edited for Westminster (oops!  lol). 

Apologies to the residences of Scotland and Wales who might have taken offense!  :o.  But most of our 'free' time will be in the London area and that is the area where suggestions are most likely to be able to be taken advantage of - though those other area suggestions might prove useful, like the Liverpool options mentioned regarding the Beatles.  I don't need a photo of us crossing Abbey Road.  There are limitations while on the bus tour part of our trip, of course, first two weeks - though one free day in London pre-tour.

Absolutely agree about the "walk abouts", best way to find unexpected treasures and hidden pleasures.  Just have to be properly prepared for the infamous weather - which we hope to be and will make purchases if necessary for personal comfort.  A little light rain is no big deal but a down pour and soaked clothing is a downer at any time for enjoying oneself.

Art museums, yes, but not so much Modern, prefer Great Masters for my tastes.  True antiquities and pre-historic sites are of great appeal to me.  But it is wife's idea to "visit London" that is the inspiration for the whole trip - I just made it a bigger trip since it is likely there will be few if any repeat visits to a single country (or three if you prefer in this case!) in our future.  Too many other parts of the world to sample.  So, need to keep wife happy which means places I'd prefer get set aside for her interests.  Though some items are there just for me, including the Imperial War Museum.    Natural history museums are also good.  British museum is first in line for repeat visits but plan to give it a full day, a leisurely stroll through as much as we can see in a day, with likely lunch on premises or very nearby.

Being in May, we will have plenty of daylight hours - basically around 15 hours of daylight hours per day.  Nightlife, not so much but maybe a small dose here and there.  Want to be as well rested as we can be between long days of exploring.

So, again thanks, and please do keep the ideas flowing.  Perhaps others will appreciate the input.

And, of course, once returned from the trip - and recovered - will be happy to post a report up afterwards.

Online FifteensAway

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Another area of inquiry: attire.

Wife has been investigating how to better 'blend in' which may just be an excuse for more shopping!  I am your basic t-shirt, blue jeans, and tennies sort but I can tolerate going slightly upscale to casual slacks, button front shirt, and non-tennis comfortable walking shoes.  So, how should one dress to look more like a 'local' and less like a tourist?  And feel free to ask wifes/girlfriends to provide input on my wife's behalf.  She can only blend in so far given she is a native of the Philippines - though in her younger days was a ringer for one of the most famous actresses from that country, so much so that on a cruise many of the Philippine crew were mistakenly impressed.  lol

Of course, on the bus tour portion, I suspect it will be rather obvious given it will be a group of us.

An aside: I await the look of Shocked Disappointment when wife comes to full realization of just how limited our luggage space must be given the strict limitations imposed by the bus tour accommodations.  I've mentioned it many times but she clearly hasn't fully absorbed it yet.  She is even talking about using her body as 'closet' or something like that to take extra clothes.

Offline Belligerentparrot

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Another area of inquiry: attire.
So, how should one dress to look more like a 'local' and less like a tourist? 

I really don't think it matters. I mean, I imagine somewhere very formal and traditionalist like the Royal & Ancient golf club at St Andrews might turn you away if you weren't dressed sufficiently smart (though money definitely talks too) but unless you're going to some very formal event or place it won't be a problem. I'm a scruffy old crust punk and have never had any issue in the UK other than at a couple of very formal events when I did my PhD at Cambridge (the colleges there are sticklers for tradition). 

As for not looking like a tourist, here in Scotland the main way Americans stand out as tourists is if they go for a mistaken idea of what they think traditional Scottish dress is (bright tartan trousers/kilt etc. etc.) Avoid doing that - unless you want to do that of course - and you'll blend in fine.

Offline Cholmondely Percival IV

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If you’re interested in Roman military history your timing could hardly be better:

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2024/jan/29/legion-life-in-the-roman-army-review-british-museum-five-stars#comment-166282009

BTW as I mentioned previously, it is more likely to be Westminster Abbey than Westminster Cathedral that you will want to make a point of visiting. The latter is the seat of the Archbishop of Westminster, and if you’re Catholic - as I must assume your wife, being from the Philippines, is -  it will doubtless be of interest, but it’s not where the famous poets are buried.

Online FifteensAway

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CPIV, thanks for the heads up.  From Google Maps - which I've been making good use of in the planning - it looks like about an hour and a quarter of walking between places will get us to both the Abbey and the Cathedral. 

Oh, WOW, just saw that the Florence Nightingale Museum is within walking distance of our hotel.  My wife is a retired and passionate nurse - that will be a real treat for her! 

Keep those ideas coming folks, they are all appreciated - even the ones that might not get used.


Offline 2010sunburst

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There are a few of those around.  Look here….
http://medicalmuseums.org/
The Hunterian is the only one I’ve been to and it’s excellent.  Not sure if it’s reopened after the refurb though.

Offline carlos marighela

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The UK isn't Topeka. Too much to see in a short period of time. Fortunately there's an excellent two minute guide to the highlights by one of your countrymen and an acknowledged expert on the subject.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_niLa5xXLm0

The advice is timeless so ignore the date stamp.

 :D
Em dezembro de '81
Botou os ingleses na roda
3 a 0 no Liverpool
Ficou marcado na história
E no Rio não tem outro igual
Só o Flamengo é campeão mundial
E agora seu povo
Pede o mundo de novo

Online FifteensAway

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While the song is fun, as much as I listened to, those go-go dancers - by orders of magnitude, large orders - is the worst choreographed and 'ugliest' go-go dance routine from the 60s I've ever seen.  Not that the girls are ugly, just that god-awful choreography.  Yeah, I know, supposed to be funny.  I couldn't keep watching!   I'm going to need an antidote and go find a video from the era with better dancing!  lol

Offline carlos marighela

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They ain't the Ikettes, that's for sure but then let's face it they are dancing to a Roger Miller track. Old Roger was possibly the only man of his era who could make Andy Williams look hep and cool by comparison.

Offline Basementboy

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Another area of inquiry: attire.

Wife has been investigating how to better 'blend in' which may just be an excuse for more shopping!  I am your basic t-shirt, blue jeans, and tennies sort but I can tolerate going slightly upscale to casual slacks, button front shirt, and non-tennis comfortable walking shoes.  So, how should one dress to look more like a 'local' and less like a tourist?  And feel free to ask wifes/girlfriends to provide input on my wife's behalf.  She can only blend in so far given she is a native of the Philippines - though in her younger days was a ringer for one of the most famous actresses from that country, so much so that on a cruise many of the Philippine crew were mistakenly impressed.  lol


I doubt it’ll be much different to what you’re used too- any regular clothes will blend in completely fine :)

Offline FierceKitty

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Theatre, theatre, theatre!
The laws of probability do not apply to my dice in wargames or to my finesses in bridge.

Offline carlos marighela

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Personally, I think it's always a mistake to attempt to pass yourself off as something other than a tourist when you in fact are. In the first instance it rarely works and as importantly why not be proud?

Clothing styles and fashion are so international, anodyne and ubiquitous that they rarely, specifically, mark out a visitor. My wife has dragged me through countless shopping malls from Brazil to Berlin to Vietnam.  I've seen more than I care to myself in most of South America, chunks of North America and places like Thailand. I'm here to tell you that these days they are all basically alike, selling essentially the same schmutter. Global branding, it's a thing.

There are far more important 'tells' in the way someone walks, gains or fails to gain eye contact, surveys their surroundings and at times even how they hold their cutlery. In well touristed areas, you'll be readily spotted as such and in small villages you'll probably be considered a tourist if your point of origin was more than 20 miles away.

Then of course at some point you are going to open your mouth. Matters not if Americans almost speak the same language.  Accent, cadence, specific usage and use of slang will betray your non-local origin. Not a bad thing, it's often the start point of a conversation. 'Oh yeah, I have a cousin who lived in.....'

Britain, like the US and much of the western world is multi-ethnic. Your race alone is not a tell. My immediate family span the gamut in terms of skin colour. I'm fair skinned and have blue eyes. Quite often in Brazil I would get asked if I was from the South of the country where there are lots of Germans, Poles and Ukrainians etc. In cities like Curitiba I would pass without notice until I spoke to someone.

Bottom line, wear what you feel comfortable wearing*, dress for the climate not to blend in. Attempting to 'blend in' is pointless, adds nothing to personal security and may actually detract from the experience. Cultural norms are sufficiently similar that it's incredibly unlikely that a particular form of dress will cause offence. If you are somehow really worried about anti-American sentiment, which quite frankly is almost never going to rise above some friendly badinage, then do what other US citizens abroad often resort to and festoon yourself with little maple leaf badges.

Finally if you do still wish to blend for whatever reason then consider avoiding eye contact with anyone in the street or on public transport and if have the need to initiate conversation start by apologising. Sī fuerīs Rōmae.... Be aware that regional variations do occur.  :)



*Unless that involves a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, long socks and sandals. That's just a piss take. I'm in no way suggesting that you would but wearing a MAGA cap might also lead conversations to places you might not enjoy. ;)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2024, 02:04:55 AM by carlos marighela »

 

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