Visit my Facebook page for current news and events in Europe

Rather than clutter up the blog page with the (mostly) European news that interests me, I’ve started posting links to stuff on the Facebook page. Check in periodically to find out about events, cultural news and the occasional cute animal story.

Latest May news – the US may set up passport controls at Schiphol! One way to trim the lines in the US.

May 2015 – you need a travel card just to ENTER Rotterdam train station! Dutch farmers are growing barley for Scotch whisky; a list of Prague parks to enjoy.

March and April 2015 – a push for a transport and visitor pass for Netherlands; new attractions and an annual battle reenactment in Prague; a look at Dutch Easter; new features added to tours of Blenheim Palace (aka the “palace” in the new TV show The Royals).

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London Tube closures – 18-19 July 2015

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures. Big chunk of the Circle line is down – which I think makes for a pain inna neck, as well as a stretch of District line that would normally be an alternative. Click here to see how lane closures along Victoria Embankment, among other locations, will foul traffic for the rest of the year. Fun fun fun!

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned Tube closures on the network for the next six months.

Circle line – closed all weekend between Edgware Road to Aldgate via Victoria

District line is down for the weekend between Earl’s Court to Embankment.

You can see what a headache the above two can create when they occur in tandem, even though these are the only closures on the Tube this w/e. These are my most used lines when I’m in town, so I’m glad I’m not having to deal!

Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

 

London Overground – just one late opening on Sunday (11.00) for the stations from Gospel Oak to Stratford.

There is a long-term closure on the Trams between Wimbledon and Dundonald Rd which began this past Monday 13 July and will continue until October.

Road closures and disruptions listed here. Sorry – I’m too lazy to list them all. Hammersmith flyover has roadworks in both directions. Westbound Trinity Rd in Wandsworth is blocked until September. Tottenham is seeing Cycle Superhighway work thru mid-August.

Central London – a parade from around 18.00 on Friday until 5.00 Saturday morning will create lane and parking restrictions along Edgware Rd.

Various road issues over the weekend in and around Lambeth (Brockwell Park), Farringdon (some sort of procession) and Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf will be chaotic on Sunday due to… well, the TfL email says ‘sporting event’, but not sure if this refers to the childrens’ theatre event that day or the beach volleyball. Or both. You have been warned.

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station (Piccadilly line)- exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) Seems to me that Covent Garden access has been spotty for a year or more, sometimes without advance warning. Good thing Leicester Sq and Charing Cross are short walks away as alternates.

Tufnell Park station is closed until mid-March 2016.

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London Tube closures – 11-12 July 2015

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures – a couple of closures in the East End some London Overground. Click here to see how lane closures along Victoria Embankment, among other locations, will foul traffic for the rest of the year. Fun fun fun!

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned Tube closures on the network for the next six months.

Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

District line is down for the weekend between Aldgate East and Upminster

Hamm’smith/City is shut from Liverpool Street to Barking.

DLR is closed both days from Bank and Tower Gateway to Blackwall, All Saints and Canary Wharf.

London Overground – service disruption all weekend between Gospel Oak and  Barking. Short day service on Sunday – Sydenham to Crystal Palace from 9.30 to 22.00 as well as a late Sunday opening (10.00) on the stretch from Wandsworth Road to Clapham Junction.

Road closures and disruptions listed here. Sorry – I’m too lazy to list them all. Hammersmith flyover has roadworks in both directions. Westbound Trinity Rd in Wandsworth is blocked until September. Tottenham is seeing Cycle Superhighway work thru mid-August. Central London – Oxford Circus/Regent St area will be snarled mid-day Friday for some sort of procession. Overnight Monday into Tuesday will see work around Trafalgar Sq / Strand / Northumberland Ave – get yourself over to the Sherlock Holmes pub beforehand (before 22.00) so your drinking time isn’t disrupted!

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station (Piccadilly line)- exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) Seems to me that Covent Garden access has been spotty for a year or more, sometimes without advance warning. Good thing Leicester Sq and Charing Cross are short walks away as alternates.

Tufnell Park station is closed until mid-March 2016.

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Walking map for London Tube – handy on strike days like today (9 July 2015)

Walking times between Tube stations – good to know ANY time! From London Independent – hard to say how long the link will work, so maybe print one out when you get home? You never know when it could be useful again.

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London Tube strike info 8-9 July 2015

As of now, the strike set to begin this afternoon and continue all day tomorrow is going on. There may also be disruptions for some part of Friday.

Check this post regularly for any updates. The regular Tube website has a banner headline saying that all Tube service is now shut down.

Here is the latest announcement from TfL…

==============================================

Tube services have now stopped running as a result of the strike action by the ASLEF, RMT, Unite and TSSA unions. There will be no Tube service tomorrow, Thursday 9 July.

Staff on the bus network, the DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Trams, river services, Emirates Air Line and Santander Cycles are not on strike; extra bus and river services will be in operation tomorrow.

National rail services are running largely as normal*. Public transport and roads will be much busier than usual, especially during peak hours. Please travel outside the peak times if you can.

Many locations in central London are easily accessible from mainline rail stations, and we have staff on hand to help people find their destinations. Please click the link for a copy of the central London bus map, which you can save to your mobile device.

Oyster pay as you go, Travelcards and contactless payment cards can, of course, all be used on National Rail services as normal.

For the most up-to-date information, including travel advice, please follow @TfLTravelAlerts or visittfl.gov.uk

============================================

London Trams are running; the Emirates cable car is also in service. FirstGreatWestern rail has a map with their services – this is a SEPARATE strike action, planned for 48 hours beginning Thursday and continuing thru start of service on Saturday am, 11 July. Lovely!

And here’s a link to TfL’s Twitter page, in case that’s easier to access.

 

 

 

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London Tube closures – 4-5 July 2015

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures – a couple of closures in the East End some London Overground. Click here to see how lane closures along Victoria Embankment, among other locations, will foul traffic for the rest of the year. Fun fun fun!

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned Tube closures on the network for the next six months.

Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

District line is down for the same period between Aldgate East and Dagenham East

Hamm’smith/City is shut from Liverpool Street to Barking.

London Overground – service disruptions Saturday only – Sydenham to Crystal Palace; Sunday only – no service between New Cross Gate to Crystal Palace/West Croydon; closures all weekend affect service between Gospel Oak and Barking as well as the stretch from Highbury & Islington to Shadwell.

Road closures and disruptions listed here. Sorry – I’m too lazy to list them all. No service on the Woolwich Ferry (I didn’t even know there was a Woolwich Ferry), southbound Trinity Rd in Wandsworth is blocked until September and Hampton Court all have some congestion issues. And, of course, the tennis tournament in Wimbledon will make parking down there a nightmare. Yeah, but Rafa Nadal lost his match today, so why bother going?

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station (Piccadilly line)- exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) Seems to me that Covent Garden access has been spotty for a year or more, sometimes without advance warning. Good thing Leicester Sq and Charing Cross are short walks away as alternates.

Tufnell Park station is closed until mid-March 2016.

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London Tube closures – 20-21 June 2015 and a successful accessibility test

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures – mostly the bottom edge of the Circle line ‘bottle’ and some DLR on the fringe. Click here to see how lane closures along Victoria Embankment, among other locations, will foul traffic for the rest of the year. Fun fun fun!

Click here to read an Oxford gent’s report on testing the Tube system’s accessibility improvements.

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned closures on the London Transport network for the next six months.

Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

Circle line – all weekend – closure from Gloucester Road to Aldgate via Embankment and District line is down for the same period between South Kensington and Aldgate East.

DLR – all weekend – no service between Blackwall and Beckton.

London Trams – the section between Reeves Corner to East Croydon stops running at 22.00 on Saturday and will not resume service until 10.00 on Sunday.

London Overground – service disruptions Sunday only – Wandsworth Road to Clapham Junction as well as the stretch from Gospel Oak to Barking.

Road closures and disruptions listed here. Sorry – I’m too lazy to list them all but watch out for a demonstration on Saturday afternoon in and around the Strand, Trafalgar Sq and Whitehall. Work on the East-West Cycle Superhighway will make a mess along points on Victoria Embankment this summer. Terrific.

Road – Farringdon Rd southbound will be a mess due to Thames Water works works (!) from now until the 28th June.

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station (Piccadilly line)- exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) I only hope I remember this if I’m in London before they’re done mooching around replacing those lifts.

Tufnell Park station closed until mid-March 2016 for lift replacement.

 

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London Tube closures – 6-7 June 2015

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures – mostly the bottom edge of the Circle line ‘bottle’ nd some DLR on the fringe. Click here to see how lane closures along Victoria Embankment, among other locations, will foul traffic for the rest of the year. Fun fun fun!

Click here for the press release relating to line extensions from Liverpool St for London Overground and some fare reductions. Wow! And some rebranding (pull-ease!) with the Crossrail project. Do we really need that bit? Only the shareholders know for sure.

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned closures on the London Transport network for the next six months.

Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

Circle line – all weekend – closure from Gloucester Road to Aldgate via Embankment and District line is down for the same period between South Kensington and Aldgate East

London Overground – service disruptions Sunday only – all day Clapham Junction to Kensington (Olympia); late start (11.30 am) on the stretch from Gospel Oak to Highbury & Islington and a late opening (10.15 am) between Liverpool Street and Enfield Town/Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters)/ Chingford.

Road closures and disruptions listed here. Sorry – I’m too lazy to list them all. Watch out for a march on Sunday afternoon in Westminster.  The Cut in Southwark is closed for the next couple of weeks. The area around Wembley stadium will be congested on Saturday from noontime onwards and Sunday will be crazy due to the huge SOLD OUT rock concert there (Summertime Ball) btw – Arsenal won last weekend, so I guess the party went on for quite a while.

Road – Farringdon Rd southbound will be a mess due to Thames Water works works (!) from now until the 28th June.

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station (Piccadilly line)- exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) I only hope I remember this if I’m in London before they’re done mooching around replacing those lifts.

 

 

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London Tube closures – 30-31May 2015

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures – hardly anything is down, a good weekend for going ANYwhere! Click here to see how lane closures along Victoria Embankment, among other locations, will foul traffic for the rest of the year. Fun fun fun!

Click here for the press release relating to line extensions from Liverpool St for London Overground and some fare reductions. Wow! And some rebranding with the Crossrail project. Do we really need that bit? Only the shareholders know for sure.

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned closures on the London Transport network for the next six months.

Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

Jubilee line – Sunday only – closure between Waterloo and Finchley Road

DLR – Saturday and Sunday – no service from Westferry/Poplar to Island Gardens

London Overground – service disruptions Sunday only – Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction and between Sydenham and West Croydon.

A closure on Tuesday from 14:00 until late evening on the section of London Trams between Reeves Corner and East Croydon due to a sporting event.

Road closures and disruptions listed here. Sorry – I’m too lazy to spell these out any more. Regent St is closed to traffic on Sunday from 4 pm onwards.  The Cut in Southwark is closed for the next couple of weeks and there is the possibility of road snarls around Wembley stadium if Arsenal wins. I don’t follow the football, so I’ve no idea how likely this is but if the possibility is worth noting, I imagine the turf accountants will be doing well!

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station (Piccadilly line)- exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) I only hope I remember this if I’m in London before they’re done mooching around replacing those lifts.

 

 

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London Tube bank holiday schedule – 23-25 May 2015

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures; not much going on AND the STRIKE that was planned which would have affected National Rail services has been CALLED OFF. Click here to see how lane closures along Victoria Embankment, among other locations, will foul traffic for the rest of the year. Fun fun fun!

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned closures on the London Transport network for the next six months.

Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

District line – all weekend – Aldgate East to Dagenham East and Turnham Green to Richmond closed

Hammersmith/City line – all weekend – no service between Liverpool Street and Barking

DLR – Saturday and Sunday – no service from Bow Church to Stratford

London Overground – service disruption all w/e – Willesden Junction to Richmond. Also an early closing on Sunday night (22.00) between Stratford and Gospel Oak.

London Trams – Elmers End to Arena is closed on Sunday and Monday and the stretch between Reeves Corner and East Croydon is shut between Saturday and Tuesday.

Road closures and disruptions listed here. Sorry – I’m too lazy to spell these out any more. There’s a parade in Chelsea on Monday, the Cut in Southwark is closed for the next couple of weeks and a road race in central London on Monday.

Reminders –

Mile End station closed all three days (Central line)

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station (Piccadilly line)- exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) I only hope I remember this if I’m in London before they’re done mooching around replacing those lifts.

 

 

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London Tube updates – 16-17 May 2015

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures. Click here to see how lane closures along Victoria Embankment, among other locations, will foul traffic for the rest of the year. Fun fun fun!

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned closures on the London Transport network for the next six months. Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

District line – all weekend – Turnham Green to Ealing Broadway closed

Jubilee line – Sunday only – 11 am late opening on the stretch between Waterloo and Finchley Road

Piccadilly line – all weekend – Acton Town to Uxbridge not running

Victoria line – all weekend – no service between Seven Sisters and Walthamstow Central

London Overground – service disruptions on Sunday only – Sydenham to West Croydon; Willesden Junction to Richmond. Also a late (10.15 am) opening between Clapham Junction and Wandsworth Road.

Road closures and disruptions listed here. Sorry – I’m too lazy to spell these out any more. Central city disruptions include a march on Monday afternoon in the Whitehall / Trafalgar Sq / Northumberland Ave area. Hang outside with a beer at the Sherlock Holmes pub on Northumberland and watch it all go by!

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station (Piccadilly line)- exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) I only hope I remember this if I’m in London before they’re done mooching around replacing those lifts.

 

 

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Fun facts about London’s black cabs

Courtesy of cabbieblog.com … for some reason, I did not find a button for simple reposting, so click on the link and enjoy!

Black cab facts

 

 

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London Tube updates – 9-10 May 2015

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures. V-E celebrations will add to the activities and probably contribute some traffic snarls. Click here to see how London Westminster will mark the 70th anniversary of WWII’s end in Europe.

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned closures on the London Transport network for the next six months. Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

District line – all weekend – Aldgate East to Bromley-by-Bow

Jubilee line – all weekend – West Hampstead to Stanmore

Metropolitan line – all weekend – Aldgate to Harrow-on-the-Hill

Hammersmith/City line – all weekend – Liverpool Street to Barking

London Overground – service disruptions on Sunday only – Queen’s Park to Watford Junction as well as Willesden Junction to Richmond. Late starts affect lines from New Cross Gate to West Croydon (opens at 9 am), Sydenham to Crystal Palace (opens at 8.30 am) and South Tottenham to Barking, which won’t start running until noon.

DLR – Stratford to Poplar closed all weekend

Road closures and disruptions listed here. Sorry; I’m too lazy to spell these out any more.

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station (Piccadilly line)- exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) I only hope I remember this if I’m in London before they’re done mooching around replacing those lifts.

Royal Oak station (Hammersmith & City line) – closed until mid-May.

 

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London Tube updates – 2-4 May 2015

Here’s the link with information on this bank holiday weekend’s Tube closures. Just a couple of glitches on the city center fringes on Overground and DLR. Wow!

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned closures on the London Transport network thru August 2015. Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

London Overground – no service on Sunday only – South Tottenham to Barking, New Cross Gate to West Croydon, Sydenham to Crystal Palace.

DLR – Crossrail work all weekend means closures between Bow Church and Stratford

There are also a bunch of works issues on the National Rail. Click here to see those.

Road closures and disruptions listed here. Sorry; I’m too lazy to spell these out any more.

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station (Piccadilly line)- exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) I only hope I remember this if I’m in London before they’re done mooching around replacing those lifts.

Royal Oak station (Hammersmith & City line) – closed until mid-May.

 

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Some online resources on gardens in the south of France

In response to a reader request for recommendations on gardens in the south of France, my only home resource, Secret Gardens of France, listed mostly private properties, almost all of which were near Lyon or farther north, so I did some research online.  The best websites I found were these…

for Provence near Arles

a comprehensive list for southeast France, with interactive maps

a comprehensive list for southwest France, with interactive maps

I like the last two because the Google maps show where the gardens are, making it easier to know which are closest to whichever town you may be headed for.

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London Tube updates – 24-26 April 2015 and marathon info

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures. City center running as normal BUT –   the London Marathon is on Sunday between Greenwich and the Mall beginning at 7 am and continuing until 7 pm (but keep an eye out for the slowest competitors; 12 hours may not see everyone done).

One stray bit of good news is that the Hammersmith flyover work is complete, so road traffic there will return to the normal snarl.

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned closures on the London Transport network thru August 2015. Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

Bakerloo line – Sunday shut between Queen’s Park and Harrow & Wealdstone

Central line – no weekend service from White City to West Ruislip/Ealing Broadway

London Overground – no service on Saturday – Kilburn High Road to Euston; Sunday closures – Wembley Central to Euston, Clapham Junction to Kensington (Olympia) as well as between Gospel Oak and South Tottenham.

Road closures and disruptions listed here. Sorry; I’m too lazy to spell these out any more.

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station (Piccadilly line)- exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) I only hope I remember this if I’m in London before they’re done mooching around replacing those lifts.

Royal Oak station (Hammersmith & City line) – closed until mid-May.

 

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London Tube updates – 18-19 April 2015

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures. A really quiet weekend although there are ‘events’ all weekend around Whitehall which could make for road clogs.

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned closures on the London Transport network thru August 2015. Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

Central line – Queensway to North Acton

Northern line – no service Sunday between Tooting Broadway and Morden

London Overground – no service on Sunday between South Tottenham and Barking

Road closures and disruptions listed here. Sorry; I’m too lazy to spell these out any more.

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station (Piccadilly line)- exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) I only hope I remember this if I’m in London before they’re done mooching around replacing those lifts.

Royal Oak station (Hammersmith & City line) – closed until mid-May.

 

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London Tube and National Rail updates – Easter w/e 3-6 April 2015

Here’s the link with information on the Easter weekend’s Tube closures. Another mostly quiet weekend for those who want to use the system.

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned closures on the London Transport network thru August 2015. Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

There are multiple service outages on Easter weekend on National Rail. Click this link for more info.

Jubilee line – Friday thru Sunday – Waterloo to Wembley Park has no service. Easter Monday, Waterloo to Stanmore is shut.

Metropolitan line – no service until Tuesday between Aldgate and Northwood/ Uxbridge

DLR – Canning Town to Beckton is down on Saturday and Sunday

London Overground – closures Friday thru Sunday – Highbury & Islington to Shadwell as well as between Sydenham and Crystal Palace. Also, a late (8.30 am) Sunday opening on the line from New Cross Gate to West Croydon.  Complete closures on Sunday between Queen’s Park and Watford Junction as well as the stretch between Camden Road and Stratford.

Check the TfL link for some outages around Croydon on the London Trams. Trams? Dint even know they had trams. Wow.

Road closures and disruptions listed here.

FYI, the Barclays / Boris bikes are now branded with Santander; instead of blue, they are red. This and their logo popping up all over the world as they devour other banks, I wonder… is this how Spain dragged itself out of austerity? Much as I love Spain, I’m still not convinced that central London is safe enough for a cyclist.

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station – exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) I only hope I remember this if I’m in London before they’re done mooching around replacing those lifts.

 

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London Tube updates – 21-22 March 2015; accessibility improvements

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures. Another mostly quiet weekend.

See the Hot Link on this blog page for planned closures on the London Transport network thru August 2015. Click here for the latest info on accessibility improvements to London’s public transport.

Jubilee line – late Sunday opening (11am) between – Waterloo and Finchley Rd

District line – no service this w/e between Earls Court and Wimbledon

Emirate Air Line (cutesy name for the cable car over the O2 arena) – has been closed since Monday and won’t reopen until this Monday, the 23rd.

London Overground – weekend closures – New Cross Gate to Crystal Palace/West Croydon. Also, no service on Sunday between Willesden Junction to Camden Road via West Hampstead and a late Sunday opening (13.15) between Camden Road and Stratford.

Road closures and disruptions listed here.

FYI, the Barclays / Boris bikes are now branded with Santander; instead of blue, they are red. This and their logo popping up all over the world as they devour other banks, I wonder… is this how Spain dragged itself out of austerity? Much as I love Spain, I’m still not convinced that central London is safe enough for a cyclist.

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station – exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!) I only hope I remember this if I’m in London before they’re done mooching around replacing those lifts.

 

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London Tube updates – 7-8 March 2015

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures. Weekend work is cranking up. Check here for the latest info on a possible strike action late Saturday, 7 March thru early Sunday morning.

See the Hot Link for planned closures thru August 2015.

Jubilee line – Saturday closure – Waterloo to Wembley Park; Sunday closure – between Waterloo and Stanmore

District line – no service this w/e between Turnham Green and Richmond

Metropolitan line is down between Aldgate to Harrow-on-the-Hill both days

London Overground – weekend closures – New Cross Gate to Crystal Palace/West Croydon; Gospel Oak to Stratford; Richmond to Willesden Junction. Also, no service on Sunday between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction as well as from Highbury & Islington to Dalston Junction.

Road closures and disruptions listed here.

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station – exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!)

 

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London Tube updates – 28 February – 1 March 2015

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures. Not much going on but there are some major changes coming up. In addition, ticket windows are being shut but it’s unclear if this is a permanent change or just long-term temporary. The first ticket windows that were taken out of service were Queensway (one of my more frequently used stations, though I don’t use the window to top up my Oyster card), S Wimbledon and Shepherds Bush. Check the ‘major changes’ link above for more of these.

I’ve also added a Hot Link to the blog for planned closures thru August 2015.

Circle line – Gloucester Road to Aldgate via Embankment – no service this weekend

District line – Earl’s Court to Embankment/Kensington (Olympia) – no service

London Overground – weekend closures – Highbury & Islington to Dalston Junction; New Cross Gate to Crystal Palace/West Croydon; Stratford to Gospel Oak.

Road closures and disruptions listed here.

Reminders –

Tottenham Court Road station – Central line trains will not stop here until early December 2015.

Covent Garden station – exit only until early November 2015; westbound trains will not stop here on weekends (keep on confusing those tourists!)

 

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London bus strike on Tuesday

Terrible way to kick off the new year… skipped the Tube updates for this past weekend. Click here, however, for the latest on the bus strike set for tomorrow.

 

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current updates for London Tube – holiday season 2014-15

The Christmas holidays usually mean reduced services; click on the link here and hover your mouse over the colored blocks to see the Planned Works for Christmas week/end.

In general – see LIVE STATUS UPDATES – maybe load it into your smart phone?

Everything is running normally until Christmas Day when the whole system is shut. Beginning on Boxing Day, see this link with the latest news with the following highlights.

Waterloo/City as well as London Overground have no service at all on Boxing Day.

Circle line – Edgware Road to Aldgate via Victoria is shut between 26 and 30 December 

District line – Edgware Road and Embankment to Ealing Common/ Richmond /Wimbledon / Kensington(Olympia) between 26 and 30 December BUT all stations between Barons Court and Acton Town will be served by the Piccadilly line

Jubilee line – Waterloo to Finchley Road closed between 26 and 30 December

DLR – Canning Town to Beckton closed on Friday, 26 December 

Piccadilly line – Rayners Lane to Uxbridge is down on 31 December – revelers be advised!

Hammersmith/City line has a midday shutdown (10 am thru 1530 pm) on 31 December to enable the line to run all night. Wheee!

So far, the only closure on the 3-4 Jan weekend is on the Central line between Marble Arch and Holborn.

The Winter Wonderland Christmas market in Hyde Park means roads are closed inside the park through Sunday, 4 January.

Road closures and disruptions listed here. Click here to see disruptions for London Overground 

Reminders –

Arsenal station is closed between 27 and 30 December

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Pilsen, Czech Republic – a European Capital of Culture 2015

From Prague Post. A roundup of events in 2015 to celebrate this European Capital of Culture. Early May will see a celebration of the liberation of Pilsen (Plzeň) 70 years ago. The city’s festival website shows what’s going on and when.

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Euro news from Prague Post – drink more cava

Not only did Prague Post publish photos of their tree lighting in Old Town Square – making me pine for the trip I took to see their Xmas markets a couple of years ago (see Facebook page) – they also reviewed three of my favorite Spanish cavas! Delicious, loads of teensy bubbles and at a supremely affordable price point.

As a matter of recommendation, though, my current favorite (not on the list in the link) is the Brut Nature produced by Juve y Camps. On my visit to Freixenet in 2010, I was introduced to this drier-than-brut designation. Hard to find in the US until recently, Natures are becoming more popular. If you are a fan of brut, you should seek out this no-added-dosage stuff, also labeled as brut zero. Another benefit – no dosage means sugar free (well, technically up to 3 grams per liter is allowed, as opposed to 6g/l for regular brut) and no nasty chemical sweeteners in sight!

Happy Holidays!

 

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London Tube updates – holiday season 2014-15

The Christmas holidays usually mean reduced services; click on the link here and hover your mouse over the colored blocks to see the Planned Works for Christmas week/end. Everything is running normally now (yahoo) until Christmas Day when the whole system is shut. After that, all lines are back up again except for a week of limited service on the Circle, District and Jubilee lines.

The Winter Wonderland Christmas market in Hyde Park means roads are closed inside the park through Sunday, 4 January.

Lane closures in Vauxhall area (Clapham Park Rd) until 22 December for gas mains work. Also on Victoria Embankment between Northumberland Av and Horse Guards Ave thru 20 December. Stay well away!

Road closures and disruptions listed here.  Snag spots include Tottenham (Saturday), Barnet High Street (Sunday), Wandsworth (Sat and Sun), a march on Saturday afternoon around Whitehall and Downing St and rally. Elizabeth St will be shut all day Sunday for its annual Christmas market.

Reminders –

Bond Street – Jubilee line is serving this station again; work finished ahead of schedule!

Gloucester Road – Piccadilly line trains not stopping until mid-December 2014 (?)

 

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London Tube updates – 29-30 November 2014 and possible strike on Monday

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures. Not much going on with the exception of a possible one day strike on Monday, 1 December on the Northern line.

Central line – Woodford to Epping shut both days

Bakerloo line – Piccadilly Circus to Elephant & Castle – late opening from 11.00 am – on Sunday only

District line – Aldgate East to Bromley-by-Bow closure on Sunday only

Hammersmith/City line – Moorgate to West Ham also only down on Sunday

London Overground – Sunday closures – Sydenham to Crystal Palace and Gospel Oak to Stratford.  Clapham Junction to Kensington (Olympia) is out all weekend.

Areas where various events will likely create bottlenecks and traffic snarls include something all day Sunday around Wimbledon Broadway,  Twickenham on Saturday (England v Australia rugby match), Holloway Rd northbound closed all day Sunday.

The closure I’d want to investigate is Princes St near Moorgate between 8am Saturday and 8am Sunday “for filming”. Hmmm…

The Dartford tunnel closed overnight Saturday and traffic diverted and other issues at the QEII bridge and Junction 31 on the M25. (Isn’t the M25 always a mess? Will anyone notice if things are a bit worse?)

The Winter Wonderland Christmas market in Hyde Park means roads are closed inside the park through Sunday, 4 January.

Lane closures in Vauxhall area (Clapham Park Rd) until 22 December for gas mains work. Also on Victoria Embankment between Northumberland Av and Horse Guards Ave thru 20 December. Stay well away!

Road closures and disruptions listed here.

Reminders –

Bond Street – Jubilee line trains will not stop here until early December 2014.

Gloucester Road – Piccadilly line trains not stopping until mid-December 2014

 

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Rolling along with London’s Bond exhibit

I came to the James Bond films a little late in life. Much as I loved Roger Moore as The Saint back in the 60s, I didn’t really latch onto Bond until Pierce Brosnan took over.

That said, I sought out a fascinating exhibition in London called Bond in Motion this past summer. It has a wide variety of vehicles of all kinds as well as models, storyboards and loads of other props used in the James Bond flicks, all presented with relevant video clips showing the various cars, boats, alligators, cycles, etc. in action. The audio program is worthwhile for adding factual tidbits – such as just which and how many super-expensive cars were actually destroyed in various movies or the fact that 3D printers created scale-model Aston Martins for Skyfall so they wouldn’t have to blow up any real ones that time.

The exhibition runs at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden through March 2015.

Here are a couple of the flashiest stars – I’ve always had a soft spot for Rollers.

Cubby Broccoli's Rolls used in A View to a Kill

Cubby Broccoli’s 1962 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud used in A View to a Kill

==

Goldfinger's 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom

Goldfinger’s 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom

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London Tube updates – 22-23 November 2014

Here’s the link with information on this weekend’s Tube closures. Not much going on…

Metropolitan line – Aldgate to Northbridge and Uxbridge shut both days

Jubilee line – Waterloo to Wembley outage – Saturday only; Waterloo to Stanmore is down on Sunday only

London Overground – Sunday late openings – Clapham Junction to Wandsworth Road northbound opens at 8.15, South Tottenham to Barking opens at 11.00.  Stratford to Gospel Oak is out all weekend.

Areas where various events will likely create bottlenecks and traffic snarls include Twickenham on Saturday (England v Samoa rugby match),

The Hammersmith flyover will be closed overnight between Wed and Thurs, 26-27 November.

The Winter Wonderland Christmas market in Hyde Park means roads are closed inside the park through Sunday, 4 January.

Lane closures in Vauxhall area from Monday until 22 December for gas mains work. Also on Victoria Embankment between Northumberland Av and Horse Guards Ave thru 20 December. Stay well away!

Road closures and disruptions listed here.

Reminders –

Bond Street – Jubilee line trains will not stop here until early December 2014.

Gloucester Road – Piccadilly line trains not stopping until mid-December 2014

 

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Foyles spiffy new London bookshop

I went looking for a book that Waterstone’s didn’t have on my last trip to London. Traipsed up Charing X Rd to Foyles – the first time I’d been there since 1990 with Mom. The old location had a giant sign in the window to the effect that their new location was a couple of doors down on the same street. I’d been so deep in thought I’d walked clean past it. About face to the new digs and, if you’ve ever been to the old Foyles, you won’t recognize the place!

The bad news – didn’t find the book I wanted. The good news – Foyles feels much less intimidating than it did on that first visit and I expect I’ll stop in again. I remember feeling back then that finding any particular book was as much a matter of luck as diligence. At the new shop, I commented on the amazing transformation to one of the clerks and asked if this meant that it would be easier to find the books. He thought for a moment before replying, “Probably not”. Ha!

Atrium at Foyles new bookshop

Atrium at Foyles new bookshop

 

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