Big Bus Tour in London

We woke up on day two in London with big blue sunny skies again.  Isn’t it supposed to be rainy in England, especially in December?

We decided to follow a friends advice, thanks Kathi, and take a tour from the hop on hop off Big Bus Company.  She advised us that it was a great way to become familiar with the city.  I also enjoyed getting a quick overview of all the main tourist attractions so I could pick which places to go back and spend more time.  The bus happened to stop just 2 shops away from our hotel.

big bus tour bus

It was pretty cold out so we bundled up and rode on the top deck.

On the top of the bus

Our first driver was frustrating, he stopped for 10 minutes or longer at many stops.  We are much too impatient for that, so we got off the bus at Piccadilly and walked through town deciding it might even be faster.

Right off the bus we went to the Gap where I bought an orange hat, knowing Greg would end up wearing it, and I would get my scarf back.  Then we wandered around Chinatown and the theater district until we found a Swiss restaurant.  We enjoyed fondue and spatzle and then walked to Trafalgar Square.  Don’t read about why there aren’t as many pigeons in the square as there were in Mary Poppins time, you’ll regret it like I do.  Wikipedia said at the peak there were 35,000 pigeons, I can honestly say I can’t imagine that many birds and their waste in one square.

New Orange Hat takes a trip to Trafalgar Square

I learned later from a guide that the four lion sculptures in the square were made by a man who had never seen a lion.  So he used descriptions from other people and also his dogs, perhaps retrievers, as models.  Can you see the resemblance?

Trafalgar Square

Then we walked down Parliament Street.

2012-12-08 13.57.59

Once again I felt like I was on a movie set.

Parliament Street & Bus

Parliament Street
I enjoyed another phone booth shoot.  You can’t tell from the photo but I think he’s holding his breath because he said it smelled like someone had repeatedly marked their territory inside.

Greg and Phone Booth

Then we spotted Westminster Palace and Abby in the distance.

Almost to Westminster

Spectacular.  In person the traffic cam doesn’t seem as prominent, it is NOT as tall as the Elizabeth Tower.

Westminster Palace

The Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben

Elizabeth Tower

We walked over the Westminster Bridge and got back onto the Big Bus.  This bus had a live guide instead of a recorded tour you listen to on headphones.  We enjoyed him much more and we were happy he only waited for a minute or two at each stop.

Greg got a spectacular shot through a window from his phone going over the Tower Bridge.  He definitely gets the photo of the day award.

Tower Bridge

We rode the bus most of the way back to the hotel and felt blessed to be together and for our wonderful sunshine filled day!  Since we enjoyed a fondue feast for lunch, we picked a simple dinner that night at Paddington Station.  Greg had a British Christmas feast in a bowl from the restaurant EAT, imagine Thanksgiving dinner in a cup.  I got a meat pie from a counter. It was the perfect British food to end a wonderful day.

hot pot


3 responses to “Big Bus Tour in London

  1. You bring sunny skies with you when people are on holiday, which is exactly why I’m going to India with you. 🙂 I’m glad you got on a better tour bus. I think those buses are a great way to get an overview of the city. It makes me so happy to see you and Greg spending the sunny day together. I love the orange hat and think he is a great sport for enduring the smell to get a great photo. I think I need a copy of the Elizabeth tower and Big Ben photo. Throughly enjoyed all the photos and dialogue. And Christmas in a cup sounds like an awesome meal.

  2. Oh and I love the addition of and Beyond to your blog’s name.

  3. Sarah de Guzman Furner

    You can just imagine how much I love this London post, pop up German market, food, Piccadilly…and yes hop on and off buses are great….ours never stopped for ten minutes though. I love the orange hat. You and Greg have so much fun together. I love the phonebooth photo. I love all the photos. I’m glad to learn about the Lion statues, I didn’t know, considering the many, many times I’ve been in that city, I still don’t tire of it…but what I love most in this post? British food in a pot! I love that place EAT! I’m so happy for you guys that you had not one but TWO sunny days in the city!

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