Tuesday 4 August – London Day 2

We took the Big Bus today, one of the hop-on hop-off type sightseeing buses.  Their buses have an open top deck, all the better to see the sights with…

P1000592Some of the buses have a cabin bit at the front of the top deck. The first bus we were on had this, then it rained – hard & a lot – and we had to change buses in the middle of the rain storm for reasons known only to the bus company and the second bus didn’t have that option. Shame as we would have been in a position to snaffle an undercover upstairs seat.  As it was we got the very front seats and had the windscreen at the front and sides for a bit of protection.  Oh well, riding around in the rain just made a bit of a change from walking around in the rain but it was too hard to try and take photos from the bus top until the day dried out a bit.

So, our plan was to stay on the bus and do the whole circuit and then decide where to jump off and see whatever.  On the way around we formed the very definite view that attractions like The Tower of London were out as the queues were a day’s work in themselves, let alone actually getting in and seeing the attraction along with about a zillion other people so possibly a wee bit crowded.  Given that we only had the one day left to see as much as possible we ditched the attractions.

We saw a good bit of old London town this way, way more than we would have seen just wandering around or sticking to an attraction or at the most two.

Big Ben…

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Marble Arch…

P1000567A strange horse’s head statue…

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I have to admit to having no clue what this statue is supposed to be about but it got me every time I passed it so it got an include.

After going around the whole circuit we decided that we would get off at Piccadilly Circus and go for a bit of a wander around Trafalgar Square and Coventry Garden making our way back down to Buckingham Palace and giving the Queen a bit of a wave before finding the bus stop and rejoining the bus on one of the last rounds for the day.

At Coventry Garden we found some buskers…

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A HUGE crowd was gathered around them and everyone was having a fine time.

After having checking out the market stalls at Covent Garden we went to Trafalgar Square and took a quick squiz in the National Gallery which was pretty amazing.  Dad said he could spend a week in there – wouldn’t be hard to do.

On the way to Buckingham Palace we passed by Green Park which like Kensington Park the day before had deck chairs set out.  This cracks me up, the Londoner’s version of the beach…

P1000614At least Kensington Gardens had water – the deck chairs there were arranged by the Round Pond.

Passing by the Royal Mews Bear just had to take a look at the Guards on duty…

P1000616Then it was onwards to Buckingham Palace…

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After catching the Big Bus again Dad proceeded back to the hotel and I went on to find Liberty of London, with a stopover by Hamley’s Toy Shop – the oldest toy shop in London, started by a tin miner in 1760 as a shop called “Noah’s Ark”.  It is floor after floor of toys and happy happy kids.  Staff stand outside and just inside the front entrance blowing bubbles – somehow that just raises a smile.

Then, I found it…

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Liberty’s.   Aside from the fact that I knew I was going to find beautiful fabric inside, the building itself it worth a visit in its own right.  Finding my way to the fabric department, through the various other departments of many beautiful things, I then proceeded to attempt to make a fabric choice – not the easiest decision with the whole range there before me, but finally I did make a decision and a purchase was made.  I’ll share that with you when I get back to Oz as it is packed and the suitcase is currently in the “too hard basket” for taking a pic.

I was going to catch a regular bus back to the hotel but I couldn’t figure out the bus fare issue and it was a buy if from a machine option only so I walked – it’s only a couple of kms or so anyway and there were still heaps of people about shopping and what not – via Paddington to get something takeaway for tea.

Tomorrow morning we have to be ready in the lobby for the ride to the airport at 5.05 am – the sparrows will still be sleeping!!

Until next time…

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Posted on August 7, 2009, in Britain, England, Trip. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Good to see you checked out Lizzie’s house, pity she didn’t invite you to tea. Sounds like you enjoyed your short visit to London – those deck chairs look like they have been upgraded!

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