Piccadilly CircusWednesday, 30th June, 2010
From the top of a double decker bus.
Our friend, Wheels has already spent 2 hours sitting around Heathrow on June 29, waiting for the “no shows” and now he is at the airport 24 hours later to pick us up. Yes, we're sheepish about not making the correct flight, but I explain that I am old and confused and because I'm an “old” friend I seem to be forgiven....
We are at his house 20 minutes after pickup and quickly shower, have breakfast and take off for the Woking train station to buy train tickets to London. We are only in London for 3 days, so we have to make the best of it, we can't spend a ½ day recuperating and sitting around, it has to be go,go,go if we are going to make a dent in what there is to see. The train takes us to the city in 20 minutes and almost immediately we purchase two tickets for the Original London Bus Tour, hop on, hop off. The Original Bus Tour is good value and costs 25 pounds per person, it includes 3 bus tours and a river boat trip. When every attraction in London costs around 20
pounds this is good value. London is definitely expensive, but I think that you can pick your attractions and not break the bank.
It's a beautiful day and the temperature is in the mid twenties, warm and humid. The bus does a complete circuit of the inner city during which we listen to the commentary and then we decide to walk the whole route again, but detour to include Buckingham Palace. Our walking tour takes in the following: Houses of Parliament; Horse-Guard Parade; Buckingham Palace; Nelsons Column; Leicester Square; Piccadilly Circus and finally a cold beer in Covent Garden. It is 5.30pm and time to head back to Waterloo Station and return to Woking.
Wheel's wife, Annette has been working in the city all day and text's to say that she is at Waterloo station. Unfortunately for us, our phone credit has expired and we are unable to text back. We are already sitting on what turns out to be the slow train train and arrive in Woking about 30 minutes after Annette.
At 10.00pm we make our excuses and hit the rack, it's been a long, hard day, but we have been up for 24 hours
Protesting against the war in Iraq. This tent city was right outside the Houses of Parliament, however I think I read that they have to go....What happens to the right to protest?
straight. Thursday, July 1
I'm up before 7.00am and check my emails. I haven't been online for about 4-5 days and I am having internet withdrawal. Today, we are heading back to London to try and finish off our bus-ride and are joined by my old friend, Ian Binks. Again, we take the train into the city and hop on the Original Bus; our tickets are still valid from yesterday, Ian buys a ticket and joins us. We take a different tour today and head towards the Tower of London, stopping along the way at St. Paul's Cathedral. Factoid: a bomb went through the flat roof of the cathedral in the Blitz, but failed to detonate.
We hop of the bus and take the Millennium Bridge to the Tate Gallery and then return across the river to catch the bus to the Tower of London. This is a definite must if you are in London as this one site encapsulates English History. The Tower, built by William the Conqueror and added to over the ages, currently houses the Crown Jewels. In the past it was a Royal Residence, and a prison. Walter Raleigh was imprisoned 3 times
This Horse Can Bite
What is going through the guards head as another bloody tourist steps up to get his photo taken.
in the Tower and spent 13 years there with his wife and family. Some of the inmates managed to leave, such as Elizabeth 1st, others such as William Wallace (BraveHeart) lost their heads. Enemies of England beware.... Unfortunately, the German football team has no such fears and in the past few days, thrashed England 4-1.
After the Tower, H takes photos of Tower Bridge and we have lunch at one of the restaurants in the chain that Ian currently works, Zizzi at St Catherine's Dock.. Good food and a wonderful setting. Thanks Ian...
We cross the river once more, and almost run through one of the galleries at the Tate Modern. Back to Waterloo Station ,as the Kinks, Waterloo Sunset reverberates through my head and back to Woking.
Tonight, a BBQ and get together at Wheels with his Mum and a few old friends. Good food and good company. We discuss the upcoming tennis match between Murray and Nadal. Bets are made.... Friday, July 2
Back to London to complete our trip and do some shopping. H runs into his ex flat-mate’s sister from New Zealand outside a shoe shop on Oxford Street. Small World!!!
The shopping trip is successful, and we walk down Regent St, with a slight detour onto Carnaby St, and reach Piccadilly Circus. Now back to the Tate Modern Gallery to see all of the exhibits that we ran past on the previous day.
Back to Woking, out for a meal and into bed. Saturday, July 3
We're up early and pack ready for our trip to the North. We say our goodbyes to our gracious hosts and Harry the dog. Thanks again guys. Back to London, destination Kings Cross Station and the 12.10 to Leeds. We drag our luggage into Kings Cross and park it by a column, there's a young guy by the column eating a pie who immediately begins to shake his finger towards H. It's a friend from Auckland Grammar School in NZ. In two days, he has met 2 random people from Auckland. It's a small world after all!!!
The journey to Yorkshire is uneventful and we are met by my sister, Ann at Leeds train station. We visit my Mom and then return to Ann's for a BBQ. H heads out for the evening at the pub
Live at the Palace
Unfortunately we missed the changing of the guard.
with his cousin Kim and her friends. I am in bed by 10.00pm. Sunday, July 4
Independence day, but a long way from Yorkshire. It's pretty much a relax and spend it with the family. Ann cooks roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, I fetch my Mom from Wetherby and we eat at around 2.30 in the afternoon. H and I drop my Mom off at around 9.30 and we return to Ann's and head straight to bed.
Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures in Yorkshire, so this will have to wait until I return in October.
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