A Travellerspoint blog

Super Bowl LVIII - Hard Rock Cafe, Paris, France

The continuing documentation of my viewing of the Super Bowl in various countries

rain 12 °C

Super Bowl LVIII (the 58th of these games) took place on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Kansas City Chiefs faced the San Francisco 49ers.

Surprisingly, interest in the game was high in the run up, and not just among sports fans. One of the Kansas City players, Travis Kelce is dating mega-superstar signer Taylor Swift. This generated interest amongst the Swifties (as her fans are called), but also a surprising amount of interest from certain right wing commentators, blogs and Tweeters. A conspiracy theory started up suggesting that Taylor Swift's mega-stardom was actually a deep state CIA plot to re-elect Joe Biden, and that the relationship between Kelce and Swift was fabricated to further advance this plot.

Right. Anyway.

I took the Eurostar down to Paris on the 9th (Friday) after finishing up work for the day and settled into a hotel on a quiet square in the 2nd Arrondissement. The square was quiet, but the area was bustling with many lively streets and pedestrian areas with lots of options for food, drinks and shopping.

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A night cap on the first night

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Captain Haddock and Tintin kissing. On my!

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Lunar New Year when I was there, so celebrated with some dumplings

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Steak Frites

The weather was changeable all weekend, and managed a somewhat soggy walk in the rain up to Montmartre to see Sacre Coeur.

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Saint Vincent Cemetery nearby.

The Big Game

I watched the game at the Hard Rock Cafe, securing tickets before hand which included a bucket of 5 bottles of beer and a buffet with typical game day snacks (sliders, chicken wings, nachos) and various sweet items.

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Hard Rock Cafe, Paris

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Sliders and wings (this wasn't my only plate, I got a decent feeding)

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My bucket of beer for the game

I had a seat at the bar, which had a good view of the TV and also was impressively close to the buffet. Perfect set up.

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The game itself kicked off with some sloppy and boring play highlighted only by an impressive 55-yard field goal by 49ers kicker Jake Moody at the start of the 2nd quarter, the longest ever field goal made in a Super Bowl. With four and a half minutes left in the 1st half, the 49ers got a touch down and led KC 10-0, but KC was able to get some points on the board with a 3 point field goal ending the first half 10-3 in favour of San Francisco.

After a half-time performance by Usher which featured lots of dancing, including an impressive bit on roller skates, the second half action picked up. The Chiefs scored a field goal and then a touch down to take a 13-10 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter. In the fourth quarter, San Francisco scored a 3 point field goal, which was answered by 3 points by The Chiefs. With KC still leading by 3 points, the 49ers scored a field goal with 3 seconds left. At the end of regulation, the score was tied at 19 points each.

The game went into overtime. Each team is allowed a possession of the ball, and the game continues until at the end of both teams possessions, one team has more points. The 49ers got the first crack, and scored 3 points with a field goal to take a 22-19 lead. The Chiefs responded by scoring a touch down, sealing their victory over San Francisco with a 25-22 win.

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Watching the OT

I wandered back to my hotel close to five in the morning, on a luckily dry Paris night and got a few hours sleep before I had to check out of the hotel and head back to London.

Another Super Bowl around the world done. For more entries in this series, check out the my Super Bowls Around the World table of contents.

Posted by GregW 11:36 Archived in France Tagged superbowlsaroundtheworld Comments (0)

Super Bowls around the world - Table of Contents.

Here is the list of all entries associated with my Superbowl Mission.

2024: Superbowl LVIII in Paris, France at the Hard Rock Cafe.
2022/2023: 2022 was back again in Boxpark in Croydon, and repeated again in 2023.
2021: Superbowl LV in London, in my home, because... you know... Covid. Welcome to Super Bowls in Lockdown. Hopefully this is the only one.
2020: Superbowl LIV party at Boxpark, Croydon, England, United Kingdom - Twitter & Insta
2019: Was asleep because I was tired from running a 10K earlier in the day.
2018: On a lovely ski trip in Chamonix, France
2017: Berlin, Germany and Belushi's Bar
2016: Superbowl 50 in Borough, London, England at Roxy's Bar and Screen.
2015: Superbowl 49 in Hammersmith, London, England at Belushi's. Pics, pics, pics and silly twitter statuses abound.
2014: Superbowl 48 in Etobicoke, Canada at Wingporium with good friends, cold beer and hot chicken wings.
2013: Superbowl 47 in Battersea, South West, London, United Kingdom at home
2012: Superbowl 46 in Rome, Italy at Scholar's Lounge, an Irish pub filled with American students
2011: Superbowl 45 in Munich, Germany at the Kultfabrik, in a party hosted by the GFL's Munich Cowboys.
2010: Superbowl 44 in Amsterdam, Netherlands at the Satellite Sports Cafe on The Leidseplein
2009: Superbowl 43 in London, England at an American expat event in Islington on the snowiest day in 18 years.
2008: Superbowl 42 in Toronto, which I didn't bother to write a separate entry about, but rather included in an entry on watching a hockey game in Montreal, Quebec, where I declared the concept dead.
2007: Superbowl 41 at Fox Sport's Grill, Seattle, Washington, USA
2006: Superbowl 40 at Scruffy Duffy's, New York City, New York, USA
2005: Superbowl 39 at Hotel in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
2004: Superbowl 38 at Nashville South, San Jose, Costa Rica
2003: Superbowl 37 at hotel, Puerto Montt, Chile
2002: Superbowl 36 at Shoeless Joes, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2001: Superbowl 35 at the Sports Column, Denver, Colorado, USA

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From the San Jose paper - they spelt my name incorrectly, but that's me cheering along.

I shall keep this entry update with the latest, as my mission progresses.

Posted by GregW 15:01 Comments (0)

Thames Path / Thames Pathless - LBHF

Following the Thames Path through the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham - and seeing how much of it is on the river.

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Inspired by a blog entry on Diamond Geezer, where he walked from the Thames Barrier to Tower Bridge, I decided to do a similar walk following the path in Hammersmith and Fulham. The goal is to see how much of the path is actually beside the river.

First a little background, the Thames Path National Trail is a 180 mile footpath running along the bank of the River Thames from the Thames Barrier near the estuary of the Thames to the source up in the Cotswold. Within London, it offers a surprising amount of access to the river on both the north and south banks. In recent years, as new developments have been built on the river, often replacing old industrial and warehousing space, part of the developments have included opening up access to the river for the public.

I'm familiar with much of the route I walked, as the Thames Path passes behind my flat, and I often use it for walking or running. However, the start of my walk today from Chelsea Creek to Hurlingham is an area I haven't been in since 7 years ago. Back then, I was doing a wine tasting course at the Big Yellow Storage on Townmead Road. Now a warehouse with storage lockers may seem a weird place to do a wine tasting course, but a climate controlled, access controlled and 24-7 security is a great place to store wine in a sub-basement, and the West London Wine School has premises to hold tasting and courses.

I was on a career sabbatical at the time, and would often walk down in the afternoon for the early evening courses. When I was there early, I would take a wander around the area, and would often try and walk along the river. At the time, there was some access to the river, but it was often broken by industrial sites or construction areas. I was interested to see how it had changed since 2013, and answer the question - how much of it is beside the river?

YES - Chelsea Creek, Chelsea Harbour, Imperial Wharf to Gurney Road (1169 m)

The walk starts at the mouth of Chelsea Creek within the Chelsea Harbour development. For most of it's borders, the dividing line between LBHF (London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham) and RBKC (Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) follows the West London rail line. However, down near the River Thames, and border swings away from the rail line and follows Chelsea Creek. This means we find the odd case of Chelsea Harbour and Chelsea Harbour Pier are in Fulham.

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If one had been coming from central London down river, you would have had to have cut inland to get to this point, but some day in the future you will be able to have walked here along the Thames and over a bridge from the Lots Road Power Station site, which is currently being redeveloped.

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Back on the Fulham side of Chelsea Creek in 2013, this was still a construction site, and much of the bit from Chelsea Creek to Imperial Wharf was not accessible. Now, though it is private property, the public is allowed to access it and it is a nice walk. After a short walk from the creek mouth along the river, you cross over the canal entrance to Chelsea Harbour via a pedestrian lift bridge, which is accessed for boat owners via a lock. Just over the harbour entrance is Chelsea Harbour Pier, a river bus stop on the rush-hour only RB6 route.

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There is a short gap where the river passes out of sight as you pass under the rail bridge for the West London Line, but then the walk is uninterrupted along a wide path until barrier and sign divert you away from a temporarily closed Thames Path to William Morris Way.

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NO - Riverstone Fulham (77 m)

Our diversion of the river is due to the construction of Riverstone Fulham, a "vibrant riverside community" for those 65 years and older. The Thames Path should reopen when the construction ends, due for the end of 2021.

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Back in 2013, the path behind what will be Riverstone Fulham was open, as this passed behind a Sainsbury's supermarket. That supermarket was cleared to make way for the existing development on the completion of the next section of the Thames Path.

YES - Fulham Wharf (129 m)

Fulham Wharf was just a construction site back in 2013, but is now open, including a replacement for the Sainsbury's pulled down next door.

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There is a short, wide riverside path, but that quickly ends in a dead-end permanent looking brick wall and planters. Those that have come down this way have to turn back, and walk back up to Townsmead Road to progress further.

After so much high-end housing passed for the first 1.3 kilometres, the next diversion is due to a surprisingly industrial reason.

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NO - Cemex, Neverland and Wandsworth Bridge (143 m)

Walking along Townsmead Road, I had to stop and wait as a cement mixer truck pulled out of a lot. This wasn't a construction site, though, but rather the site of Cemex Cement's Fulham site, which was on the other side of that wall.

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Beyond Cemex, there is a car auction site and Neverland, an outdoor events space that tends to be a beach party themed in the summer, and winter, ski resort themed in the winter. This takes us to Wandsworth Bridge.

In the future this area may be open to the Thames, as a planning application has been accepted to redevelop these sites. However, the wharves will still be active, and the cement concrete plant will still be there - so the plan is to create a raised Thames Path with stairs and elevators leading up from the level at Fulham Wharf. However, beyond the planning application, little action has happened to this area will likely be Thames Pathless for a number of years yet.

YES - Hurlingham Retail Park (143m)

The other side of Wandsworth Bridge Road is Hurlingham Retail Park, the former home of Curry's / PC World. The electronics and technology retailer left earlier this year, and now the forlorn looking site is used as a foodbank distribution centre, as the foodbanks in Hammersmith and Fulham have gone delivery only due to Covid.

It may not be a foodbank for long though, as this may be knocked down for new homes in the near future, but the Thames Path should still exist the other side of the that, for whenever that construction starts.

There is a path along the Thames for a short distance along here, but signs discourage walkers, and for good reason. After a short walk, another dead-end greets you. The other side of the barrier is a construction site, but this time not for high-end, riverside living (at least not yet for that), but rather a grand infrastructure project.

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NO - Thames Tideway Carnwath Road site (288 m)

While the tunnels under central London which will one day carry The Elizabeth Line (aka Crossrail) get a lot of attention as the big London infrastructure project, another one somewhat more quietly carries on it's digging - the Thames Tideway "Super Sewer."

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The massive sewer, running 25km under the Thames, connecting Acton to Beckton and often following the path of the Thames, is being built to take pressure of the current sewer system, most of it built in Victorian times. The city has grown a lot since then, and we have increasing incidents where the current sewers and sewage treatment facilities become overburdened, and raw sewage is dumped into the Thames. The new sewer is being built to avoid this and take all that overflow once it opens in 2025.

Once that happens, it'll probably be years more until the public gets access to the river here along Carnwath Road. There are plans for it, along with the sites already mentioned at the Hurlingham Retail Park and Cemex sites, when all this will be opened up to the river, and new housing built along the river, changing the face of the river from industrial to residential.

YES - To Broomhouse Lane (191 m)

We find a path back onto the river for a short walk to pier at the end of Broomhouse Lane. Here we hit a brick wall (literally) in our path.

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NO - The Hurlingham Club (554 m)
NO - Rivermead Court and Putney Rail Bridge (299 m)

The other side of the wall is The Hurlingham Club, a 42 acre multi-sport private members club most famous for it's polo matches.

Here we have our largest diversion from the Thames. For most of the times we have had to divert from the riverside, it has been a short hop up to a nearby parallel road. However, the diversion around the private Hurlingham Club also takes us around the public Hurlingham Park, meaning it takes us 1.3 kilometres to cover the approximately 550 metres of river frontage.

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Once we get to the the other side of Hurlingham on Ranelagh Gardens, we are still blocked from the Thames by Rivermead Court, a private estate of housing blocks. It is only once we are on the other side of the Putney rail bridge that we can get back to the Thames again.

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YES - Putney Rail Bridge to Putney Bridge (205 m)
NO - Putney Bridge (15 m)

From Putney Rail Bridge to Putney Bridge, there is a quiet section of the Thames Path running along the river. It is so quiet as anyone walking between the two would find a shorter and quicker route walking along Ranelagh Gardens than diverting down to the river to only have to divert away from it 200 metres later. But it's a nice 200 metres, including an inlayed mosaic celebrating the annual Oxford-Cambridge boat race which starts just the other side of Putney Bridge.

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The diversion mentioned is to get under Putney Bridge, which requires heading back inland to a short tunnel to pass under the bridge.

YES - Bishops Park (974 m)

Bishops Park, named such because it used to be land owned by the Bishop of London, who's summer house was Fulham Palace, located on the grounds. The park includes an almost kilometre long path along the river, overlooking the boat clubs in Putney and the start of the previously mentioned boat race. The path is lined with London Plane Trees, trees well suited to London as they are tough trees that deal well with the pollution of city living.

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The path ends at Craven Cottage, the home of Fulham Football Club. It used to end at the property border of the club, but recently has stopped slightly short of that as part of the park has been taken over by a construction crew.

NO - Craven Cottage (192 m)

That construction crew is onsite to redevelop part of Fulham's riverside stand. So while we currently have to divert up to Stevenage Road to divert around the football grounds, come the completion (hopefully in 2021), the public will be able to continue along the riverside and under a newly developed, larger riverside stand.

It will be nice to have this bit of the Thames Path connected to the river, but also a shame that people won't divert to see the Grade II* listed Johnny Haynes stand and Craven Cottage, the stands opposite the currently being developed riverside side.

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YES - Craven Cottage to Hammersmith Bridge (1610 m)

After zig-zagging away from the river often, we finally have a long track of riverside walking. From Craven Cottage until Hammersmith Bridge, we have an uninterrupted path along the river on one side, and housing developments built at various times during the last 50 years. Much of this waterfront used to be warehouses and wharves, though other than a couple redevelopments, most of the housing are modern(ish) buildings.

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Pedants and hair-splitters who know this area may point out that at the Crabtree Pub, there is a point where the Thames Path passes in between two outdoor dining spaces, with one of the spaces between the river and the walker. However, this is a short bit of approximately 10 metres, and the river is always in view, so I included it. You can take different views if you wish.

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NO - Hammersmith Bridge (12 m)

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Maybe more hair-splitting, but at Hammersmith Bridge, we are forced to walk away from the river, over Hammersmith Bridge Road, and then back down Bridge View Road to re-join the Thames Path. This is due to the current closure of the bridge - both for any traffic passing over, but also anyone passing under it.

The bridge, designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette and built in the 1880s, is a chain-link suspension bridge with wrought-iron parapets. It is Grade II* listed, and is a symbol of Hammersmith. While beautiful, it is well passed it's designed life, and beyond the level of traffic (in both volumes and weight) which was to be expected by Victorian engineers. As well, wrought-iron, while having some strength, can be brittle. In 2015, it was discovered that the bridge had potentially concerning cracks in the metal work.

After the cracks were discovered, the bridge was closed to vehicle traffic in April of 2019, however cyclists and pedestrians were still allowed over, and boats and walkers underneath. After a heatwave in the summer, the cracks were determined to be worse due to the expansion and contractions during the extreme heat, and so the bridge was shut for all traffic, both over and under it.

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This is hopefully another temporary closure, but Hammersmith and Fulham, which owns the bridge, doesn't have the money to fund the repairs. Other stakeholders - the borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, Transport for London and the national government - are all involved in talks to determine how to get it open, but at present no timeline is known to fixed the bridge.

YES - Lower Mall and Furnival Gardens (369 m)

The other side of Hammersmith Bridge is Lower Mall, a short, pedestrianized street fronted by a few homes, a couple boating clubs and a couple lovely pubs. However, we are walking along the river, with the buildings all on the other side of the path. Past the last of the homes, a green space called Furnival Gardens opens up. Furnival Gardens used to be industry and warehouses, but after extensive destruction due to bombing in the second world war, was converted open green space. This continues until we reach Dove Pier, and have to turn inland for a short but atmospheric stretch.

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NO - Dove Passage (44 m)

This short path, known locally as Dove Passage, but officially part of Upper Mall, is a beautiful, narrow, slightly-crooked, stone-paved path which, along with a few houses, has The Dove pub, a quirkily designed pub with a lovely river terrace, the supposedly smallest bar in Britain, and also allegedly where Rule Britannia was composed.

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YES - Upper Mall to Black Lion Lane (463 m)

After passing through Dove's Passage, we are back out onto Upper Mall, a road with the river to our left and housing to our right, including the former home of Hammersmith polymath William Morris, best known for being a designer in the Arts and Crafts movement. The road ends, but pedestrians can continue past Linden House, home of the London Corinthian Sailing Club and the Sons of the Thames Rowing Club.

The Thames Path passes under some balconies, and into the Upper Mall Open space between the Old Ship Pub and the Black Lion Pub, before coming to Black Lion Lane.

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NO - Hammersmith Terrace and Chiswick Mall to LBHF border (208 m)

We divert into Hammersmith Terrace, a series of homes with gardens backing onto the river. Hammersmith Terrace is a short street with three blue plaques - for Edward Johnston, Sir Emery Walker and Sir Alan Herbert.

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Hammersmith Terrace turns into Chiswick Mall the street rises slightly and at the crest of a the small mound at the intersection with Miller's Court, we meet the border of Hammersmith and Fulham with the borough of Hounslow.

Summary

Total river frontage - 7085 metres
Total amount of the Thames Path along the river - 5253 metres
River frontage not on the path - 1832 metres
Total length of my walk - 10,000 metres

Note that for the measurement of the river frontage, I used Google Maps, and it is obviously all estimates. For the length of my walk, I recorded the walk on a Garmin watch, and because of GPS inaccuracies, it is approximate, and also I walked down some dead-ends to see the end of the path, rather than the shortest distance taking in the most of the river. So take all these numbers with having a margin of error.

Percent of the Thames with the Thames Path beside it in LBHF - 74%

Here's a map I've done on Google showing the walkable and not walkable bits of the river front - Map.

And here is my walk on Strava - Thames Path / Thames Pathless LBHF.

Posted by GregW 09:53 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

On Grief - and how to be a friend to someone grieving

I talked a bit about my father's death, but I also lost my mother back in 1999 - before I started blogging. A friend of mine, Ellen, started a podcast about how to talk to and be a friend to someone who is grieving, and I was interviewed on one of her podcasts.

Listen here - " Talking About Grief with Friends."

Posted by GregW 05:26 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Flyertalk Trip Reports

With more of a focus on airline lounges, service and products in the air, and hotels.

Here is a table of contents for trip reports that I have posted on Flyertalk, a website for frequent fliers. There are items I wrote for the Trip Reports forum, where fellow frequent fliers write about their trips. The trip reports focus more on the service and product of the airlines and hotels during my trips. There are often corresponding entries on the Gregwtravels blog for each of these, which focus much more on the destination and the experiences I had while there.

Trans-Mongolian train trip report - a two week trip from Paris, France to Hong Kong via rail, most of the way covered on the trans-Siberian and trans-Mongolian railways. I completed the journey in 16 days, stopping in Brussels (1 day, 1 night), Moscow (2 days, 1 night), Irkutsk (1 day), Ulaan Baatar (1 day), Beijing (3 days, 2 nights) and Hong Kong (1 day, 1 night). Posted in December of 2005.

Roatan, Honduras (YYZ-LCE-RTB on Sky Service, Sosa Airlines and Islena) - Roatan, Honduras for New Years Eve 2005. Roatan is the largest and most populated of the Bay Islands off the coast of mainland Honduras. Posted in January of 2006.

Tanzania trip - Mount Kilimanjaro, Serengeti safari and Zanzibar in January of 2005. Posted in January 2006.

Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagoya, Osaka and Hiroshima - I flew into Narita Airport outside of Tokyo, and then spent 6 days in Tokyo, 4 days in Kyoto, a day each in Nagoya, Osaka and Hiroshima. Posted in August of 2006.

Panama: Aeroperlas PAC- OTD (Panama City - Contadora) and The New Hotel Contadora - Panama City and a trip over to Contadora Island in the Pearl Islands in December of 2006. Posted in January of 2007.

New Romantic Adventures in Belize - Belize and learning to take things easy.

London to Toronto via Frankfurt in business class - I talked about this being my last time to use points to travel via business class, but I did get one more grand flight in after that, with a flight to Singapore in First Class on Thai airlines. I never wrote about that, not sure why I didn't... Anyway, read this about business class across the Atlantic.

Travelling from London to Texas to see the US Grand Prix - I am a big F1 fan, and thanks to the generosity of a friend, this was done to the extreme, with private club seats and helicopters to the track each day.

Posted by GregW 08:36 Tagged train_travel air_travel Comments (0)

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