Thursday, July 22, 2010

22 July 2010 London Bus Tour, Thames cruise, London eye

Lyn and the Red Bus

Us by Tower bridge

Lyn and a Beefeater

Horse guards

Big Ben

Lyn on the Thames river cruise

The specks are people

View of Houses of Parliament from London Eye

London Eye view

Mick on the London Eye

The London Eye

Lyn hanging on

Rain threatened as we headed off for another day in London but this time with our planning completed and our tickets pre-purchased on the Internet. It turns out that pre-buying tickets for attraction on the Internet is quite a bit cheaper and less hassle when you get there.

Apart from being cheaper you get fast tracked to the head of the queue which is a big plus.

This morning we had booked a bus tour of London with stops at the most famous buildings, short walks between some of the buildings with pauses to listen to the tour guide describing the history and a running commentary when the bus was in motion.

As the tour was not due to start until 1230, we spent the morning having a close up look at Tower Bridge and take a few snaps. After this we walked across the bridge and caught the tube to the pick up point for our bus tour.

The bus was a classic London red bus with an open top so we decided to risk the showers and sit up top. As it happened apart from the odd sprinkle the showers held off for the rest of the day. We went to all the famous buildings and listened to very good descriptions of their history.

The tour also included a (short) river cruise on the River Thames with a similarly comprehensive commentary of what we were seeing.

After the cruise we went to Horse Guards Parade to see the ceremonial horses being stood down for the day which was not what was published in the brochure. We were expecting to see the changing of the guard but the tour guide said to see that we had to take the morning tour. (Didn't say that on the web site but never mind we enjoyed it never the less).

After watching the horse ceremony the formal part of the tour ended and we made our way to the London Eye with our queue jumping tickets in hand.

This turned out to be a good move as we were on board in no time while the walk up ticket buyers had to wait.

Lyn was a bit apprehensive at first as the Eye is a huge wheel with what look like spokes as on a bike wheel and it towers a long way into the sky. Anyway we jumped aboard and were off on the ride of a lifetime. The wheel has 32 gondola's around it's periphery and it takes 30 minutes to rotate through 360 degrees. There is not much of a sensation of moving so Lyn felt quite comfortable whilst on board. The literature talks about it as being a 'Flight on the London Eye'.

We absolutely loved it and would highly recommend the ride to anyone going to London. Th cost of the tour including all of the above was £46 with seniors discount. Well worth it we thought.

We completed the ride at about 1730 and headed off to the railway station a short walk away to catch the train home. Unfortunately we had hit the rush hour and had to stand on the train for half of the trip and Lyn's little feet were very tired (as were Mick's!).

After the 30 minute journey we arrived at the Plumstead railway station and hopped on the bus to take us to the end of our street.

Another great day.

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