London with its grandeur and standing as one of the world's top capitals can be relatively convenient to get to. It is served by five international commercial ports of entry, one of which is London City Airport. Located in the Royal Docks of the London Borough of Newham, London City Airport provides access to the capital some eleven kilometres east of the city centre. It handles around three million passengers to date, making it the fifth busiest airport after its four airport partners.
The flights coming to and from London City Airport are served by a single grooved concrete runway extending up to 4,948 feet. It has connections to a number of destinations across the United Kingdom and some parts of Europe, with more renovations in place for the departure gates and the International Arrivals Hall and baggage handling areas in 2013. More plans are on the works for further development of the facilities by 2030, which aims to serve around eight million passengers annually.
Where to go
Aberdeen, one of the major cities in Scotland, is made rich by oil money evident in the range of high-end hotels, restaurants, and clubs in the area. Those going here will a number of impressive landmarks as well, such as the Gordon Highlanders Museum, which records the history of one of the most famous fighting units in the British army. It commemorates the courage of the Seaforths and Camerons who banded together and formed the Highlanders regiment in 1994. From here, tourists can then check out King's College Chapel where Bishop Elphinstone established Aberdeen's first university in 1495. One will see the chapel with its crown spire and elegant stained-glass windows and choir stalls. The Old Town House is also worth a visit, which houses exhibits on the history of Old Aberdeen.
Exeter, the main city in Devon, is a fine addition to the itinerary due to its collection of medieval buildings and Georgian structures. One can start with the Exeter Cathedral, a magnificent Gothic church splendid in warm, honey-coloured stone. It dates back from the 12th and 13th centuries, with one end of the exterior framed by medieval statues, with a fascinating ceiling with long unbroken vaulting. There are also elegant wood carvings and striking sculptures that make it a sight to behold. From here, tourists can venture to the Underground Passages, the only publicly accessible system in England. There is also RAMM, an exquisite museum to visit with interactive displays on Exeter's heritage, among many others.
Santorini, within reach from London City Airport, can be a delight to discover. It looks especially spectacular in sunset, when the fading glows of red and orange sunlight reflecting on the white Cycladic houses and other buildings. Some of the places to look forward to visiting here include ancient Thira, which was first settled by the Dorians in the 9th century BCE. Now, one will find in the ruins a combination of the remains of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine structures. There are temples, houses with mosaics, a theatre, gymnasium, and an agora (market). Those on the lookout for more fascinating ancient ruins can turn to the Ancient Akrotiri site, where an ancient Minoan city was excavated in 1967.
Fira, the vibrant main town of Santorini, features narrow streets full of shops and restaurants on top of the caldera. Stunning views of the caldera can also be found here. One can then turn to Art Space, an atmospheric gallery outside Kamari. Fine artworks are only some of the objects to be seen here, as there are also old wine caverns with some stellar vintages here.
Due to the lack of long-haul flights, tourists will have to connect with other airports in London to get to Dubai, one of the major cities in United Arab Emirates. It is filled with interesting landmarks from old structures to skyscrapers. One of the attractions to check out is the Burj Khalifa, one of the most ground-breaking feats of architecture and engineering. It has two observation decks on the 124th and 148th floors, where one can enjoy the views. Additional fees will have to be paid to use the high-powered telescopes on the 124th floor, though, but the sights can be worth it, as well as the clever night simulation and the former look of the city around 35 years ago.
Other than the modern sights that show off the modernity of this Islamic city, one can turn to its traditional side. There is the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, where one can learn more about the traditions and customs of the country. Guided tours on the Al Fahidi Historic District and Jumeirah Mosque can also be arranged here. Visitors can also reserve ahead for the Cultural Breakfast and Cultural Lunch where one can ask questions and discuss with nationals while enjoying Emirati cuisine.
How to get out
London City Airport is served by Alitalia operated by Alitalia CityLiner, Aurigny Air Services, Blue Islands, British Airways, British Airways operated by BA CityFlyer, by Eastern Airways for BA CityFlyer, and by Sun Air of Scandinavia, CityJet, Flybe, Lufthansa Regional operated by Lufthansa CityLine, Luxair, SkyWork Airlines operated by Darwin Airline, and Swiss International Air Lines operated by Swiss Global Air Lines. The airport provides flights to Milan, Rome, Guernsey, Jersey, New York, Amsterdam, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Santorini, Billund, Aberdeen, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Basel/Mulhouse, and Geneva, among many others.
Images by Flickr\az1172
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