I am going to be in London for five days next summer.
That much is certain.
I'm going to be staying in the Prince William Hotel, in the Paddington neighborhood (near Paddington Station and the Paddington Bear statue), while I'm there.
That much also is certain.
Everything else about my trip to Europe?
That is not so certain.
I'm finding it is not so easy to plan my flights to, and from, Europe, so that's throwing the much of the rest of my plans for the trip into chaos.
As you may be aware, the cost of flying in and out of Amsterdam will be significantly higher next July than it was this past July. In fact, it will cost twice as much ($2,000) as it did this past summer.
This year, it cost more to fly to London than it did to fly to Amsterdam. Next year, during the Olympics, it will cost less to fly to London, unless I go through a gazillion different connecting flights in various cities.
That's caused me to have to ask a lot of different questions about how I will get to Europe. Do I still fly to Amsterdam? Despite it being cheaper to fly into London –– it's not much cheaper?
Do I cut out Amsterdam and just fly into Brussels? Do I, instead, fly into Dublin, spend a few days there, and then fly to London, which would be cheaper?
Or, do I fly in and out of Dublin on Aer Lingus (the Irish airline), and schedule a separate flight to Amsterdam for later in the day that I arrive in Europe?
That would allow me to spend two nights in Amsterdam, and then, I can take the train to Brussels, where I would spend a night, before taking another train, the next day, to London.
Then, on the return, I could take a flight from London to Dublin, and spend a night in Dublin before flying back to Atlanta.
As far as flight prices go, at approximately $1,300, that would actually be the cheapest way to get to Amsterdam (and it would be cheaper than flying to Dublin, and then flying round trip between Dublin and London). But, I would have to buy a train ticket from Amsterdam, to Brussels, and then another one from Brussels, to London. The total cost of train tickets would be approximately $287.
I do want to get in some time in Amsterdam and Brussels (more time in Amsterdam than Brussels, though, which is why I'm thinking I'll do two nights in that Dutch city). I want to see the canals, the Anne Frank House and museums featuring the works of Rembrandt and Van Gogh.
In Brussels, the biggest things to see are museums devoted to Belgian comic books (such as Tintin and the Smurfs), and chocolate.
So, that's where I am, in planning my next big adventure.
Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5.