A visit to England and Denmark
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - May 21, 2019 - 12:00am

COPENHAGEN – It was truly a great week to be in London with the weather giving us a sunny week. Although it is still cool at 17 degrees, it gave us the opportunity to tour the Thames River and most of London’s sights. Then the next day we took a two-hour bus tour to Windsor Castle, where Kate Middleton who married Prince William the Duke of Cambridge resides with their three children. My only complaint is that there was too much walking on that tour and no photos where allowed. There was a wall in Windsor Castle with all the swords and guns of different eras, but we were not allowed to take photos.

Then we toured the famous City of Bath, which was founded by the Romans where they still have a fully working Roman Spa thanks to the plentiful supply of water there. I was able to take photos inside the magnificent Abbey in Bath, where people are buried on the floor and on the walls of this church. It gives you an idea that the whole church was a cemetery. I guess it was that way in the old days. I’m not even sure if the Abbey was a Catholic Church because of England’s history of having the Anglican church.

After an hour bus ride from Bath, we were finally at the ancient monument called Stonehenge. Stonehenge is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, which is why there are so many tourists who come and visit that place where there are miles and miles of nothing but plains fields and only Stonehenge.

One thing I’m learning from this trip is that we are staying in an Air, B&B flat instead of a hotel, which is a 15-minute walk to the train station Shepherd‘s Bush in Kensington. After using the Underground subway so famous in London… we realized that if you are a family of four, taking the Uber car cost much less than taking the train, we decided to use the services of Uber, which was truly efficient. Most Uber drivers were very polite, but mostly Middle Eastern men.

Last week, we toured the Imperial War Museum where I had a great time with my eldest grandson, Mico explaining to him the beginnings of World War I and why Europe could not prevent the rise of Hitler who started World War II… in the Imperial Museum is a Holocaust museum on how six million Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis during the war. He was surprised when I told him that the Field Marshal for the American troops to join World War I was Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing and there is a Pershing Square in Zamboanga City. The first time I came to the Imperial War Museum was 20 years ago!

Within the city of London itself they have a lot of parks… Hyde Park being the most famous and huge… but they have so many small or mini parks even as small as 200 square meters, which many Londoners use so often. Another thing that amazes me in London is their very effective use of roundabouts… these are circles in many traffic intersections that they put without installing an electronic or digital traffic light. While there are still traffic congestions within the city, it is mostly due to traffic signal lights. But as you go further out of London, traffic becomes bearable.

Also, London has a great tourism industry where double decker buses with open tops are used by tourists as a hop-on, hop-off service vehicle which allows tourists to go down a particular museum to explore it… and take another hop-on, hop-off bus with the same company to move to the next destination. Then off we went to Harrods, the world famous London shopping mall which most Londoners coined the phrase “For your eyes only” which became the title of a James Bond movie. Harrods had a huge food court selling all the foods you are looking for and a row of chocolates. However the huge disappointment was that they didn’t have a place to eat. The food you purchase in Harrods are for take out only.

Last Friday, we once more went to Heathrow International Airport for our flight to Copenhagen. I was totally surprised to find out that London airport security measures have been upgraded and modernized, where a passenger can load his own luggage and present his documents in the same area, where your passport is already checked. This is a security system being used at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) by GMR-Megawide as shown to me by my good friend, Andrew Harrison, MCIA GM.

Our flight to Copenhagen via British Airways A-321 was only an hour and a half trip. When we got into Denmark… it was raining for two days. Thankfully it cleared up the next day so we were able to tour their canal riverboat ride and get on the tour bus to tour their city. No, we didn’t go to Tivoli Gardens, which was only a 15-minute walk from our hotel. In case you want to know…there’s no Grab or Uber services in Copenhagen.

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Email: vsbobita@gmail.com

ENGLAND AND DENMARK
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