Tuesday, September 29, 2015

London, Part 1 (London by Night)

Kings Cross
Our trip into London was pleasantly uneventful. We had to switch trains once at Vauxhall to get to the tube station for our destination but everything went smoothly. It was kind of drizzly when we arrived at Kings Cross St. Pancras, but it didn't take long for the rain to clear up.

St. Pancras.
Train Station--now I don't remember if this is Kings Cross or Victoria. I think it's the latter.
Our London accomodations.

Our hotel was in walking distance, just across the street, so convenient but not in the swankiest neighborhood in London. The room was small, clean and pretty utilitarian--you had to put your key card in a slot on the wall to turn on the lights. There were no extras like free wi-fi or breakfast (as we found out the next morning) included because we paid such a discounted rate. We booked it because it was fairly cheap in a fairly expensive city. The staff were not my favorite people we encountered on the trip, but we really didn't have to interact with them that much so it all worked out fine. We stayed in London for two nights. We had decided that our first night we wanted to take a "London by Night" sightseeing bus tour. It took us a while, but we finally tracked down some tour buses that were actually running. We didn't realize that there were free headphones right away so we missed a couple of the first things on the tour but we saved Anne's seat and she went and grabbed us some and we were golden.

Mom didn't like her hair after being in the rain that afternoon.

Piccadilly Circus.
Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square.
First glimpse of Big Ben.

Houses of Parliament
The London Eye.

St. Paul's Cathedral.

Driving over the Tower Bridge.
The Tower of London.

View of the Thames from London Bridge. That thing that looks like a flame is
the sun's reflection in one of the buildings in London.
Westminster Abbey.
This tour was one of THE best things we did the entire trip. The weather was glorious. The rain from earlier in the day had cleared up and we were treated to a beautiful sunset. We were on the top of a double decker, open-air bus so it felt like we were really close to everything without having to deal with crowded sidewalks or lines. We got to rest our feet--a welcome reprieve at the end of a long day--and there were headphones so we could hear the prerecorded tour very well. We hit all the major points of interest in Westminster and London (if you've heard of it we probably saw it--except for Baker Street and Abbey Road). We were able to eat our dinner picnic style while we rode. If you ever have a chance to go to London a bus tour is a do-not-miss activity.

To Be Continued. . .

No comments: