Note: I'm still playing catch-up, but I think I can sneak in some time to report on our recent trip. I'm not going to be able to post it all in one go, but I'll add on as I can. I will post the remaining sections as posts on this thread, so you won't have to go searching the Forum for them.
Best of London, February 19 – 25, 2023
We recently returned from a trip to Amsterdam and London; in Amsterdam we spent 2 nights, spending several hours of the intervening day at the Vermeer Exhibit at the Rijksmuseum. We then spent three full days in London before joining the Rick Steves Best of London tour.
I will post elsewhere about our adventures before the tour, but here I will concentrate on the Best of London tour itself.
Transportation: keeping it simple here, we flew British Airways from Tulsa to Amsterdam, then took the Thalys and Eurostar from Amsterdam to London. Neither trip was smooth and uneventful, but I’ll post details in our “pre-tour” report later.
Packing: This was our 17th (!) RS tour, so we’ve gotten pretty good at packing light. We both carry Appenzell backpacks; the Appenzell is considered a day pack, measuring 18” x 13’ x 6 ½”, 23 liters. My personal item is a canvas bag with shoulder strap that I got as a premium for renewing our Sierra Club membership. It measures about 8” x 13 1/2” x 3”, with a number of useful pockets. Stan’s personal item is a laptop case, without the laptop.
My loaded backpack weighed in at about 10 ½ lbs, my shoulder bag about 5 lbs. Stan’s backpack weighed 11 pounds, and his shoulder bag just under 5.
Here’s what clothing I took, including what I wore on the plane:
• 2 pair of pants, one black cotton slacks, the other dark green stretch corduroy jeans
• 5 long sleeved tops, including one light-weight yellow scoop-necked tee, one tan mock turtle medium weight tee, one burgundy longer and heavier turtle neck top, one black henley type waffle knit, and one heavier aqua and white striped boat neck. The henley and boat necked were meant to be worn over the other three.
• One set of “comfy clothes” for lounging in the room or sleeping; this was a loose but fairly heavy tee, and stretchy loose flannel pants
• 2 pairs of shoes: SAS antique wine “Take Time” lace-up loafer, and SAS black “Alpine” ankle boots.
• 3 pair of socks
• 2 bras
• 3 pair of underpants
• 1 set Land’s End silk long underwear
• 1 nylon pullover windbreaker, sprayed with waterproofing
• 1 pair cheap knit gloves
• 1 modified bucket hat
• 1 long cashmere scarf, shades of blue
• 1 flannel lined waterproof hooded rain jacket
As you can see, I was worried about the weather. As it happened, I never wore the long undies, hat, gloves, or windbreaker, and I could have done fine with only 4 tops. I did like having the variety, though..
Non-clothing items included my tablet, a blue tooth keyboard, my iphone, chargers for the tablet and phone, a small notepad, a plastic pouch big enough to carry all our paperwork (schedule, tickets, itinerary – the kinds of things most of you keep on your phone. I’ll get there someday. Maybe.)
I also had a box of Covid tests; 3 extra KN-95 masks; our 311 bag; a bagof OTC medications and useful grooming tools; my supplements, decanted into small plastic bags; and other assorted odds and ends that I tossed into the bags “just in case.” I also had a 9” x 6” x 2 ½” crossbody bag with lots of pockets and compartments, and a much smaller tapestry fabric bag, about 3 ½” x 4” that I carried when we were just going out in the evening to dinner, say, when I wasn’t going to need a lot of stuff. It’s big enough to hold a small money and credit card pouch, as well as a fold-up shopping bag. Not quite big enough for my phone, though. I bought it years ago, long before I even knew about cell phones.