Christy's London Tour
London Travel Blog› entry 8 of 18 › view all entries
We took in London by way of a hop-on/hop-off bus and boat trip using âOriginal Toursâ. We jumped on around 8:30 Friday morning. This was a great day to do it because although it was overcast at times it was largely sunny! We chose to sit in the front seats at the top of the open-topped double-decker bus. As expected there is so much history. Just in the 1st hour we passed by the many things along with the original Ritz hotel and the original hard rock cafe.
As it neared 10:15, we came up to Buckingham Palace. As luck would have it the âchanging of the guardâ would be taking place at 11:00 AM.
We headed up the street to the Palace and found a place at the fence and waited, and waited. Initially the numbers around us were few. However, by the time the ceremony began the fence, surrounding lawns, sidewalks and pretty much anything you could perch yourself on was covered by people. Throughout the ceremony there was a lot of marching and saluting by the British soldiers or as theyâre more commonly known âHousehold Troopsâ.
Weâre off for more of the tour. Saw the Parliament building, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben which I learned isnât the name of the clock. Itâs the name of the big bell inside the tower that rings at the top of ever hour. We jumped off and headed to catch the boat part of the tour and floated down the Thames River. One of the sites we took in was the Shakespeare Globe Theater where the phrase âbox officeâ comes from. The money that was collected from each show was placed in boxes and then taken to a room at the top of the theater and this became known as the âBox Officeâ. Other sites were the âLondon Eyeâ which is the 2nd largest Ferris wheel in the world, and the Millennium Footbridge. The footbridge also was given the nickname of the âwobblely bridge â because when it was first built it swayed up to a foot sideways as you walked on it.
We exited the boat at the Tower of London. As part of the Tower of London ticket you get to see the British Crown Jewels, White Tower (Armory), Blood Tower (named after the unsolved murder of two young heirs to the thrown), etc. There was a special exhibit on King Henry the VIII. Near 5 oâclock we ran to catch the last bus on the tour and headed back to Piccadilly Circus so we could make our way to eat a yummy curry dinner at an Indian restaurant. England is not known for its cuisine, but London is known to have good Indian food restaurants. Thanks Scott D. for the recommendation. On our way to dinner we went by Piccadilly Square and it was packed.
After the show we made our way back to Piccadilly Square and true to form it was packed with people, tourists and locals alike. A street performer picked Trent as a âvolunteerâ for his act. He and several others assisted the performer in what seemed to be a bit of a magic trick.
The night came to an end for us with a walk back to the hostel. The hostel was a great place full of young travelers, and old travelers from around the world. The hostel itself was located in central London and it was never more than a 15 minute walk to the different events and attractions.
We awoke the next morning for a quick breakfast at the hostel and then off on the bus to find the original âNew Eraâ hat store for Sam to check out the 59Fiftyâs.
With only a little time left before catching the âEuroStarâ (high speed train to Paris) we grabbed a bite to eat with the last of our âpounds and penceâ, gained one more stamp in our passports, and off we went.
Trentâs departing comments, âthis could be interesting, I donât know a single word of French.â