Seeking Advice on Geek Stuff - Visiting Paris and London

Discussion in 'Community' started by aswitcher, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #1
    Ok, I am off to wintery Europe, specifically Paris, London and the South-West country of England. So I am preparing my must see and do list, and wanted to know if any locals or previous travellers have any advice on things to see and do that dont make the regular travel guides (DK, Lonely Planet).

    Specifically I am interested in Mac shops (Apple Regent street tops the list), Geek techy and toy shops (yes Hamleys is on the list), free or cheap wireless hotspots/cafes (Is BT, The Cloud and TMobile any good?) and anything else people care to mention that might be interesting.

    So please bombard me with ideas, links, photos etc ;)

    I leave in just over 2 weeks.
     
  2. iGav macrumors G3

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  3. aswitcher thread starter macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #3
    Yeah, thanks, thats on my list but I am not entirely sure exactly where it is or whether it will be open in early January.
     
  4. winwintoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #4
    I found the London Eye fascinating - didn't look at the scenery, spent the whole 20 minutes trying to figure out the hydraulics or whatever makes the whole thing work ;)

    ...and when you ride the tube, dig out your cell phone and pretend you're madly text messaging with someone, only the tourists sit and stare at the tube map trying to figure out where they are :D

    ...AND before dropping coins into that beggars hat, check out his shoes, he's probably wearing better shoes than you are and that should tell you something.

    Bit of advice - pay the extra shekels for a one-handed umbrella (has a button that both opens and closes it) - it's a nuisance to be juggling packages and and umbrella when you aren't used to it.

    Please report back here what you find. I'll be going back next year I think and I want to know what I missed...

    Margaret
     
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #5
    London

    Toy dept of Harrods
    Science Museum
    Victoria & Albert Museum
    Natural History Museum
    London Eye
    St. Pauls
    Tate Modern
    Tottenham Court Road (for electronics)
    Greenwich
    Hampstead Heath
    Top deck of No. 11 bus (St. Pauls to Westminster)
    Tower of London/Tower Bridge
    Museum of London
    Transport Museum
    National Gallery
    National Portrait Gallery
    Soho (bars & restaurants)
     
  6. Gee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    ....and the Trocadero in Picadilly Cirus for a massive computer games arcade....
     
  7. brap macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Nottingham
    #7
    ...wobbly Millenium bridge...
    It's about time I got to the Tate Modern again, actually.
    Really? Have to try that. Always used the 'tube.

    What about the Imperial War Museum?

    If you go to the transport museum, be sure to admire the Tuscan genius that is St. Paul's Covent Garden. Oh, and make damn sure you go up the Monument.
     
  8. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #8
    http://www.edenproject.com/

    beautiful, brilliant and totally peeved that they built the Millenium Dome in London instead... :eek: :rolleyes: :p

    You can't go wrong in London... too much stuff to do. Blue's listed some unusual stuff though, which is definitely worth doing ;)


    hahahahahahahahahahahahaha :p :p :p
     
  9. MemphisSoulStew macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Free Wireless Hotspots + toys

    There's a short list of free UK hotspots here about quarter of the way down the page.

    There's a list of free London hotspots here and from this page you can follow links to free hotpsots in - moving west and south of London - Wantage, Swindon and Exmouth.

    What sort of toys? If you're looking for SF/fantasy/horror/cult/film/TV try Forbidden Planet in Shaftesbury Avenue.

    Speaking of toys the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green has some lovely old toys, and some early electronic games.
     
  10. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #10
    Look in Hamleys but don't buy there unless it's a Hamley's exclusive. Their prices are often 10-20% dearer than in John Lewis/Selfridges just along Oxford St.

    The Openzone/Cloud/etc hotspots are very expensive unless you plan on using one throughout your trip and can buy a monthly pass (even then... yikes!). My office have blocked wifi hotspot sites since they are categorised as 'hacking' so can't see which London ones are being recommended.

    I've used Apple's one, the McDonald's by Oxford Circus has one called Streetnet which is free and runs along sections of Oxford St. They're also quite amenable to you recharging your PB - as are Starbucks. And if you find a cafe/bar in Soho, chances are you'll find an open network nearby too!

    Will second most of Blue Velvet's list - particularly Musuem of London and top deck of the number 11 (tho less fun now that it's not a Routemaster - and it's a lot slower than the Tube!). Don't go to the London Dungeon or Madame Tussauds - tourist rip-offs that aren't particularly good.

    Try to get into a show of some sort - the halfprice ticket booth in Leicester Square can have good deals on the morning of a show.

    Try out Bodean's BBQ Smokehouse on Poland St (popular Regent St queue Friday night dinner) where you can get fabulous babyback ribs, slaw, beans, fries and a beer for £10
     
  11. TBR macrumors 6502

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    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Blackpool - England
    #11
    I went to the Trocadero while in London as i had heard it was huge but it's not really. There's bigger arcades in Blackpool.
     
  12. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #12
  13. EGT macrumors 68000

    EGT

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    #13
    Tottenham Court Road is great for electronics stuff.
    The new apple store as you mentioned, that should be fantastic!
    Bottom floor of Selfridges has some cool stuff as well.

    If you have time, you might as well visit camden town which is a bit out of the way from the centre... what a place :p great place to get food when all the markets are open!!
     
  14. aswitcher thread starter macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
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    Canberra OZ
    #14
    London Eye is on the cards, although I am not sure how hard it will be to book once we get to London.

    The one handed umbrella has me intrigued. I'll look out for one of those.
     
  15. aswitcher thread starter macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #15
    Thanks. Tottenhand Court Road sounds interesting

    I'll see about the bus depending on the weather ;)

    Nice list.
     
  16. aswitcher thread starter macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
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    #16
    Thanks for the WiFi links. I want to resist outrageous wifi costs and this might be the way to go...

    FP looks exactly like what I am after. Thanks.
     
  17. aswitcher thread starter macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #17
    Ok, thanks. I'll check them out so my Nephews dont spend all our travel money for us.

    I am looking at a monthly pass because its so expensive otherwise. Still need to make up my mind. The Cloud seems good but T-Mobile IIRC is the best for the country side where I will be staying as there is a local garage that supports it...

    Ok, thanks for that. I thought Starbucks and McDonalds had both gone commercial? Indeed Starbucks supports T-Mobile...

    Ok, thanks. Local advice on cheap but good meals most appreciated.
     
  18. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #18
    Book it online before you arrive.
    http://www.londoneye.com/

    Most Starbucks/McDs have been Openzoned but during the Regent St campout, we discovered that sitting near the front of the McDs near Oxford Circus meant free StreetNet access. The starbucks in soho often also pick up open accesspoints round about.
     
  19. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #19
    Small chain called The Stockpot.
    Branches in West End, Knightsbridge, Chelsea and elsewhere.

    Very good value. Google it...

    If you feel like splashing out a little, Aperitivo in Beak St. (Soho) is great. Italian-style tapas. You can have a beer and prosciutto or a massive blowout, it's not formal or stuffy and the food is great. Very handy to Apple Store...
     
  20. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #20
    Found this while on a bus tour of Paris (the same day that Brazil won the World Cup ;))
     

    Attached Files:

  21. boskie macrumors regular

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    Feb 6, 2001
    Location:
    North Side Of Itchy Town
    #21
    Geeky/Cultural

    I've always wanted to go to Bletchley Park, where loads of cyphers and the Enigma code were broken during WWII using some of the first analytical engines. They also have an extensive Computer Museum.

    It's situated just north of London but should be easy to get to by Train from London Euston Station.

    You could also visit Greenwich , SE London by the Thames which has many things to see - Observatory, Maritime Museum, Merdian date-line and atomic clock.

    I concur with all the previous comments but warn you that most goods (Food, Electronic's or otherwise) are gonna be much cheaper where you are, especially with strength of the £ against the $ at the moment.

    Wherever you go I hope you and the family enjoy yourselves!
     
  22. winwintoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #22
    Oh, and if you end up with a 4 hour layover at Schipool airport in Amsterdam, don't despair, the upper level is a hotspot - $5 USD for the day, and I found at least one electronics store that should keep you occupied for quite a while - and the prices aren't bad either.

    Margaret
     
  23. aswitcher thread starter macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #23

    Thanks, will do.

    Mmmm...
     
  24. aswitcher thread starter macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
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    #24
    Oh, ok. I guess I can try a bit of hit and miss...although 40 pounds for 30 days aint bad at Starbucks and service stations....
     
  25. MemphisSoulStew macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    BTW The Science Museum in Kensington has an Apple I on display


     

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