Monday, April 25, 2016

The London Diaries: Day 3 - Sunday 13th March 2016

Our final day in London before returning home.  As our flight wasn't until the evening, what would we do between checking-out of the hotel and going to the airport?

The answer: a sightseeing bus tour, but rather than hopping-on and hopping-off, we would just stay on the bus.  A wise decision, thanks to the city's very congested and gridlocked traffic.  This on a Sunday too!  I wouldn't like to see how bad it gets in morning and evening rush-hour.  No wonder why everyone uses the Tube.

The bus set off from the gigantic Madame Tussauds wax museum - that's one for a future visit, I think - and proceeded to head on an epic 3 and a half hour journey covering a number of different areas and landmarks. It's a great way to pack in the tourist attractions without wearing yourself out and also gives you a great idea of just where everything is in the city.  I particularly enjoyed crossing Tower Bridge, seeing the Shard and the Tower of London and brief glimpses of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, as well as seeing "how the other half live" in Knightsbridge and Kensington.  Here are a few of my photos taken from inside the sightseeing bus.

 Above: a classic British telephone box, outside the Waldorf Hotel.

 Above: Tower Bridge in the distance. 

 Above: the Tower of London and a little bit of the Gherkin peeking out!

Above: The Shard. 

 Above: a very fleeting glimpse of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.

 Above: an unusual bus tour on a classic London red bus.

Above: Harrods. 

Our tour eventually came to an end and we had just enough time to grab a quick lunch before getting a packed Stansted Express train back to the airport for our flight home.  

Although we only had a very short break, we achieved a lot over three days and I can honestly say that London exceeded my expectations.  We had a great time, thoroughly enjoyed going to see Fulham (despite the final score), the Sherlock Holmes Museum was very enjoyable, and the Big Bus Tour was a relaxing way to see many of the main attractions without having to explore on foot.  

The only minus point is that London is a very expensive city.  Entrance fees for attractions are high, the cost of public transport is pretty steep and drinks prices are on a par with Scandinavia! So please bear this in mind if you are planning a holiday in the city.  

We are definitely planning to return to London again, possibly next year all being well, and hoping to make a return visit to our newly adopted football team as well.  Come on Fulham!

So we will soon be off on our travels again, this time to another capital city, Madrid.  Tapas and flamenco await!

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