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  • European Vacation - not exactly as planned.

    Long planned and once postponed European Vacation coming up in 10 days! Wife Laura and I decided to go for it despite everything - thereʻs always something right!

    Itʻs a cruise on the Celebrity Beyond - 1073 ft long and 3600 passengers. Starting in London and docking in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, and back to London.

    The Ferrari factory and museums visit is a side trip from one of our Italian ports. Laura does the trip planning and she has packed our calendar!

    Hope to have time to shop for a couple of cars, most likely in London - any suggestions for hobby shopping?

    Thanks! Alan
    Last edited by asmith; May 12, 2022, 02:41 AM.

  • #2
    Sounds like a great time. Celebrity cruises are very good. Sorry, can't help with London area hobby shops but I am sure there are many on here who can and will.
    PetesLightKits

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    • #3
      If Monaco is one of your stops there’s a slot car store not far from the Ferrari repair shop, unfortunately, I do not remember the name. Downtown London also has a shop and a diecast car store as well. Enjoy
      Last edited by Brumos RSR; April 13, 2022, 05:37 PM.
      The Jester
      of Da Lou (St. Louis) but from
      the Soxside (Chicago)

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      • asmith
        asmith commented
        Editing a comment
        Weʻll be in Monaco for just a day and have booked a bus tour that includes riding the F1 circuit - will look up the Ferrari repair shop and the slot car store - thanks for the tip!

        3 days in London at start of trip, with access to the HOHO bus. Going curb my enthusiasm, but we are on a cruise so only have to pack once...

      • Brumos RSR
        Brumos RSR commented
        Editing a comment
        You can walk the Monaco track, if you have never been there you will definitely have a higher level of respect for F1 drivers when you see the actual circuit.

    • #4
      Just remember that little thing called Value Added Tax (VAT).
      It could be anywhere from 7-20%. It’s charged on everything and hard to get back.
      Best thing for shops is to enlist Dr. Google and search for shops in or near your ports of call. I’ve done that for train and slot shops, and have enjoyed the finds. Also search for die cast shops, as some of them carry slot cars. Large chain toy stores, such as Franz Carl Weber, also carry Carrera. Last, you might look for a dealers list on your favorite manufacturers’ website; shops are listed by country.
      Increase your credit card limit, and get one that doesn’t charge currency conversion fees.
      Aloha (or whatever).

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      • #5
        In London there's the Scalextric club: https://londonslotcarclub.com/; they have a link to Past & Present Toys up in the north end of London.

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        • #6
          If you haven't already, you may want to ask on the Slotforum forum. They're based in England.
          Dickie Pearson
          Canterbury, NH

          HOST - Home Operated Slot Tracks
          MSR - Main Street Racing

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        • #7
          If you can allocate the time before or after the Cruise - I'd highly recommend taking the Train from London down to Margate, to experience the Hornby Visitor Centre - pretty seaside town, and it's a lot more than just Scalextric.... You take the bus from Margate out to Hornby... it'd be a full day excursion through the pretty South East English countryside - so it's more than just a slot car shopping trip - although you can get some exclusive Scaley cars there...
          All the way from Sydney, Australia.......

          Cheers, Tony.

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          • #8
            If your are in central London, the well known toy store is Hamleys on Regent Street. Last time I was there, they had a wall of Scalextric brand slot cars. Not many other brands as I recall. BUT, this is a huge store that is a real tourist destination on Regent street and is well worth a visit just to browse.....the slot cars are just an added bonus. As noted, the VAT and exchange rates will make the purchases expensive, but sometimes you will see some "UK only" slot car models. Hamleys has a website that might have more details.

            London is my favourite European city, and has a huge list of "things to do". Beyond Hamley's, my suggestions for Must Dos is: the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace. Enjoy the trip. Cheers RvE
            Ralph
            Toronto, Ontario
            Canada

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            • #9
              You're in for some fun. When I was in the 9th grade in London, Ontario, our band got to go on the SS Nivassa on a European tour, by being the dance band, and playing Nation Anthems of each country. We worked hard, played hard, had a ball, and got a huge boost to our early education. For some reason, everybody on the ship and onshore wanted to hear the theme song to The Pink Panther, which was brand new. We even had a guy wearing pink long johns who snuck around the crowd and popped up all over. Not bad for a Secondary School band!

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              • #10
                You need more time in Italy. Ferrari is in Maranello, that's in Emilia-Romagna. Slot.it is in Reggio-Emilia, which is in E-R. My friend Giuliano Landini is the captain of a river tour boat out of Boretto, you guessed it, also in E-R. Mauricio Ferrari of Slot.it knows my friend Giuliano and has toured with him a couple of times.... you need more time in Italy.
                Enjoy, the best of times, no matter where you are.

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                • #11
                  European Vacation - not exactly as planned.

                  Our visit to Ferrari museum has been canceled, along with everything else as my wife and I tested positive for Covid. We have been isolated to separate rooms aboard the ship. We’re both vaccinated and 2x boosted, mild symptoms - flu like for me, less for my wife. Read that any way you want, but it wasn’t pleasant - with nothing more than cold medicine and Tylenol to treat.

                  US Covid policy says I can return to US after 10 days with certificate of recovery even if still testing positive. My wife’s case is 5 days later than mine and we have been advised she should not leave ship in Italy where our cruise ends, as they have strictest policies and would require another 7 days isolation in hotel after leaving ship.

                  Cruise line “Celebrity” has been great, offering to allow my wife to remain on ship another 5 days after our cruise ends, until it arrives in Greece, which has less strict policy and by then she will be 10 days out and can enter US with Certificate of recovery. Celebrity is promising full refund once we get home, we will see.

                  Icing on the - a pickpocket got my wallet in Spain just when I was getting sick and my guard was down. So long story short - we are counting our blessings and looking forward getting out of Dodge. Closest I got to Ferrari was this 250 GTO in Guggenheim museum Bilbao Spain.

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	1CA13863-EC9E-4698-9214-B24A1D633601.jpg Views:	0 Size:	382.5 KB ID:	161078 Click image for larger version  Name:	7C733D5C-30C3-46F1-B51A-81514EE35E23.jpg Views:	0 Size:	377.2 KB ID:	161079
                  Last edited by asmith; May 12, 2022, 03:08 AM.

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                  • RvE
                    RvE commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Wow, truly sorry to hear that. Must have been a huge disappointment. Hopefully you can try visiting again in the future. Best wishes on full recovery and better travels in the coming years. RvE

                  • 32lbking
                    32lbking commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Man.. definitely sad to hear that. That is a terrible turn of luck. Hoping for a good result for you both with the illness.
                    Randy
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