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Image source : Free Range

Although it's many years since I left my home in London I still occasionally use The Tube, as the London Underground is affectionately known.

Hold on. Affectionately? Does anybody actually hold any affection for the network of tunnels that run beneath the surface of our capital, or the rolling stock that runs through them?

They’re over-crowded, far too warm and stuffy (the temperature in the tunnels is about 10 C higher than at ground level), and the views are pretty dire. In central London, all you’re likely to see is the dark walls of the tunnels, although if you’re lucky, you might just get a glimpse of another train passing in another tunnel through one of the gaps between them. Funnily enough, contrary to popular belief, the majority of The Tube is actually over ground. Not that there’s much scenic stimulation along those stretches either. You might see some fascinating factories, some interesting piles of rubbish that have mysteriously grown along the sidings and a few back gardens, but nothing much else.

Anybody who’s ever regularly used The Tube during peak hours will tell you that using this particular form of transport can take great courage and will power. The platforms are crowded to the point where those at the front, closest to the lines, can find themselves fearing for their lives. We’re warned to stand behind the line, which is painted about three feet away from the platform edge, but with all those people behind you, all wanting to get forward and have a chance of getting on the next arriving train, the platform edge can quickly become dangerously close.

Having a position at the front doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a place on the next train though. Oh, no. Whether or not you’ll actually get on it will depend largely upon where on the platform you’re positioned and whether or not the carriage doors will be in front of you when the train stops. If you happen to be standing between two doors, then you’re very unlucky indeed. One way around this is to look at those ‘stand behind’ lines. As the rolling stock on each line of the underground are generally of the same type (the trains differ from line to line) and stop at more or less the same point (note: more or less… this isn’t an exact science), the ‘stand behind’ lines will be more worn where the doors are likely to be. Find those spots and you’ll have a better change of boarding the next one, unless of course the lines are freshly painted, in which case, bad luck.

This next point should be obvious to everybody but unfortunately, my experience tells me that this isn’t the case. When the train stops, even if you’re lucky enough to be standing in front of the doors, LET PASSENGERS OFF THE TRAIN FIRST! Don’t just push your way on, even if others are doing so. It’s bad manners and can cause nasty accidents.

Once on the train, you’ll no doubt have to stand as there are few seats compared with the amount of passengers being transported during peak hours. It’s standard etiquette to offer your seat to elderly passengers and those carrying small children, whether still in the comfortable confines of the womb or otherwise. Anybody else will have little chance of finding a seat. The more experienced underground travellers have their strategies though; they'll target a seat.

Those reading are unlikely to be travelling just a few stops, and although they could have been travelling for ages already, they rarely make good targets. Study people’s faces. If they look bored, they’ve probably already been there a while so maybe they’ll be alighting soon? Mind you, people do get very bored very quickly on The Tube, so they could just as easily have joined the train at the station before yours.

When it comes to seats that are vacated during the journey, there’s a general unwritten rule. Whoever is standing closest to a seat that becomes available has the greatest claim to the seat. He/she can choose to offer it to a fellow passenger, but it’s against etiquette to make a dash for a seat where the privilege of sitting obviously belongs to another.

Speaking of unwritten rules, there are a few others that should be observed if you don’t want to unduly annoy your fellow passengers. The one that’s probably more annoying than any other, is the subject of occupying seats unnecessarily! Bags and other inanimate objects do not have the right to a seat. Sure, if the trains relatively empty, by all means pile them on a seat, but don’t imagine you can do this during peak times, even if you enter to train at its station of origin where seats are still aplenty. Rather than have a small child occupy a seat, you might consider holding your toddler on your lap, too. Mind you, the rush hour on The Tube isn’t the best place for small children to be, so your best bet would be to wait a couple of hours before making your journey.

Getting back to those bags, another point worth thinking about is what to do with large bags if you have to stand. Do as seasoned tube travellers do, and put them between your legs. No, I don’t mean stuff it up your jacksy, I mean place your bag on the floor and straddle it, one foot on either side. It’ll take far less room this way than if you stood beside it, because your feet still won’t be much further apart that the width of your torso. Standing with your legs apart also make balancing easier, and when those trains are dashing through winding tunnels, swaying from side to side, you’ll need all the balance you can get. An added advantage is that should anybody decide to steal your bags, having body contact with it means you’ll be more likely to feel it being moved.

Body contact. Yes, that’s another subject. I wish I knew how many times I’d felt a ‘lump’ being pushed against my backside on a crowded tube. Please…if anybody who's guilty of this is reading, is it really necessary? I understand that the jiggling motion of the train whilst pressed closed to the body of a member of the opposite sex might cause a sensation that could lead to embarrassment, but it surely isn’t necessary to make a show of it?

On some lines, and at certain stations, a voice will tell you to “mind the gap". The posh female voice is known as Sonia, because she “gets on ya nerves" and “the gap" is a terrifyingly wide opening between the platform and the train door. Being of voluptuous proportions, I’ve never had a fear of disappearing down the gap, but the thought of getting my leg stuck down there has been pretty scary. For goodness sake pick up small children and carry them.

The deepest part of the system is at Hampstead Heath (Northern Line), where the rails are approximately 220 feet below the surface. Being the deepest part of any line, you’d expect to find the longest escalator here wouldn’t you? But you’d be wrong, because of all the 409 escalators, the longest is actually at Angel station, where the escalator is 197 feet long with a vertical rise of 90 feet. That’s one awesome escalator!

Whilst on the subject of moving stairways, I have to tell you that sometimes they don’t work and you have to walk up them, like it or not. There’s nothing quite like getting off a crowded tube train, feeling hot and sweaty and probably in need of murdering somebody, only to be presented with an out-of-order escalator that appears to be several miles long. Unless you’re ultra fit, it just isn’t funny. If they are moving, please remember to stand on the right hand side allowing those who want to walk up or down access to the left. You'll find that passengers often feel the need to run down escalators, causing danger to not only themselves but others travelling the escalator with them. It's a bad habit that you shouldn't indulge in.

Despite being uncomfortable at times, The Tube’s a relatively safe means of travelling around London. The most famous accident must surely be the Moorgate disaster, back in 1975, when 43 people were killed. The second disaster was in 1987 at King’s Cross, when a fire killed 31 people. There have been no other major disasters. There have been a few bombs placed on tube trains over the years, but none have actually exploded on packed trains. The 253 miles of railway is, however, renowned for its suicides. Jumping in front of a tube train seems to have been a fashionable way of killing oneself for quite some time now.

Using the tube is relatively inexpensive with a trip for an adult costing anything from ?1.00 to ?3.60, depending on the length of the journey. This is measured by zones, with zone 1 being within central London. The more zones you travel through, the more they'll charge you. Logical really. Child fares are available for those under 15, under five's travel free.

If you need to know which zone you'll be starting from or how many zones you'll be travelling though, 'TubePlanner' is a useful site to visit ( The journey planner here is actually easier to use than the one on the official London Underground site (, although don't tell them I said so. You'll be able to access information such as quickest route, journey time and the fare. You can also look up tourist attractions and find out exactly how to get to them.

Those who use the tube often will always complain about it, but the truth is, without it, London would come to a stand still. The streets of London are already chock-a-block with traffic as it is so any attempt at transporting 900 million passengers over ground each year would lead to nothing less than chaos.

It may not be perfect, but it's by far the quickest and most convenient way of travelling through London. And hey.... even the map's easy to understand!

Author: Sharon Jacobsen

Summers are here and do you know what that means? It means that you finally get the chance to flee away from the tedious tasks that you go through every single day. Whether it is school, college or work, by the time the summer vacations start rolling most of us are pretty much tired of our everyday life. 

However, the summers are when we get the chance to revive ourselves and go on an adventure of a lifetime (Very subtle reference for Coldplay fans). So to help you out with your travel adventures, we bring to you a list of the perfect way to have fun which is a Road Trip. So get cheap airline tickets online and fly to Europe to start one of these amazing road trips in Europe with your friends.

1. From Paris to Berlin

Start at the glamour of the French Capital and move to the depths of the German culture in Germany. You have the option to go from Paris on a cruise to the next country on your route or you can take the highway (not literally) and go on the real time road trip. 
On the way you can visit Luxembourg City which houses many medieval castles as well as roman styled baths that are surrounded by beautiful Bascillas. Next you get to visit the quaint city of Heidelberg which will provide with the feeling of a small town like never before. And the last point of this trip is Berlin which has a lot of attractions for tourists. And if you're a football fan then don't forgot to go for a tour of the Olympistadion and preferably while a match is being held there to get the true football experience.

2. From Bucharest to Bratislava

Travel to Bucharest and then start your trip from this Romanian capital to the Capital of Vienna. Choose your own route and discover the delights hidden in the cities of Transylvania ( which is home to Bran Castle - the place that marks the beginning of the concept of Counts and Draculas) and then travel towards the Hungarian city of Budapest which is also housing many delights of its own (Széchenyi thermal baths). And then conclude your trip by visiting Vienna where you get to explore amazing Austrian architecture.

3. From London to Edinburgh

Start your trip at the capital of United Kingdom and travel all the way to highlands ending your trip in Edinburgh. On the way you get to explore many cities in England such as Bristol, Leeds and Glasgow. All of these places have their own list of attractions that you need to see such as Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, the local pubs of Glasgow and the London Eye in London.

These routes for road trips are just suggestions and you can change them and add more places as you go. A road trip is something you should try at least once in your life and we urge you to go on this right in the summers. So get cheap airline tickets online and start your road trip today.

Author: By Nick S Curtis

If you love traveling and exploring the world, you are probably dreaming of running out of pages on your passport. Whether you have a considerable saving for your travels or are running on a shoestring budget, it is a great idea to look what a place has to offer before investing in a travel plan.

Europe is one of the dream destinations for all travel enthusiasts and has a plethora of options to offer for a great holiday. It is a great mix of history, art, architecture and natural beauty that never fails to amaze with its immense charm. The culture brims with exuberance and the vivid colors that it displays are a delight to every traveler's soul.

It suits all kind of travelers, be it honeymooners, solo travelers, adventure lovers or friends groups.


A magnificent city rich in its architecture, culture and gastronomy, a city which happily cohabits with river Douro is Porto which is a delight to witness at least once in a lifetime. One can experience the best museums, ancient and famous monuments, the hustling bustling market Streets, the best local food and an out of the world experience of a cruise on Duoro. Visit Porto to witness a great mix of art, culture and positive vibes and sail peacefully or just take a walk through the gleaming corridors for a blissful experience

Milan, Italy

You will be bewitched by the style, the elegance, the energy and the international flair of this city. Milan makes the best shopping place for all tastes and pockets. The contemporary art and architecture make it a leading choicest destination that captivates you with its endless allure and materialistic pleasures up on offer. Indulge in luxury brands or pick up street fashion, you will be pleasantly amazed at the variety of spellbinding experiences that Milan has to offer.


London has everything for everyone. Whether u are an enthusiast of history; architecture or a casual traveler on a leisure trip, you'll surely find a place of your interest here; starting from British Museum, Tower of London, The very famous Buckingham Palace, Portobello Road market, National gallery and our childhood fantasy, the London bridge. You will find everything here fro magnificent museums to rich cultural diversity and enchanting walks across the city are sure to blow you off your feet.


Blissfully known as the city of love, Paris exudes an aura of love and magnificence. You surely would want to spend quality time at the iconic Eiffel Tower and trust us it is worth all the hype. The Notre Dame Cathedral is another icon that will not fail to mesmerize you with its charm. If it's your first time in Paris, make sure you attend the Opera-National De Paris. Luxembourg gardens are a warm Oasis which cater to the relaxed mood of the travelers keeping the kids entertained with the plenty of activities it provides and makes the best destination to laze around and picnic.

While Paris is vast and endless in allure, booking a Paris long weekend tour is a great idea to experience a slice of paradise in form of great ambiance and enchanting architecture.


Considered as the lover's paradise, the Venezia's charm is addictive. The Grand Canal which is the main Street of Venice is the most photographed place. The Rialto bridge is an ultimate example of most amazing architecture. The bridge of sighs would offer goosebumps with a real feeling of a prisoner who would see the outside world for the last time. Bridge of sigh connects to the dangerous prison dungeons. With a host of options, this small city makes for a destination that would leave you craving to stay even post your visit.


Amsterdam has a lot more to offer on the platter other than the world-famous Van Gogh Museum.
Shopping on nine little streets is an experience to cherish. A family bike ride, the infamous pancakes, the gay bars, the nightclubs, you'll find them all here along with a fun experience promised by vibrant nightlife and friendly people.


From ancient monuments to medieval churches, to world-class museums to high-end boutiques, Athens has the flavor of all.
Parthenon features amazingly impressive ancient Greek architecture and is a cultural landmark that is impossible to find elsewhere. Once it served as a treasury and a church too and offers a great sneak peek into history. Museum of Cycladic art is amongst the other not to be missed places in Athens, Greece.

Another lovely destination in Greece is Santorini that offers a unique experience of sunbathing and swimming in the molten dyed beaches as this place is famous for its volcanic activity and one such example is the Kamari beach. The wineries here are a relishable activity for foodies and even the wines here carry the flavor of this island's volcanic terrain. The most calming experience is to watch the sunset here at OIA.

Greece is a great destination for solo travelers but bliss for couples. Book Greece honeymoon packages today for a great experience with your partner.


The city of Madrid boasts of the world-famous Prado museum where the works of the Great artists like Goya and Velazquez are on display. The Royal Palace is open to public and El Rastro market provides hours of shopping. Various open air cafe's specially skirting Plaza mayor are a must visit where you would want to relax after a long day of sightseeing. Madrid is a scintillating experience that you would not want to miss.

Europe is a great destination that is worth every penny spent and every moment invested. You must visit this delightful destination whether for a short span or along holiday to experience bliss and serenity amidst the hustle bustle, natural beauty, and vibrant settlement.

Source: Bruce Thomsan