Hoppin’ and Boppin’…

…Today was our day take the Hop On Hop Off bus to see a bit more of London than we could walking. The best place to sit is in the open air top of the double decker bus, but the weather needs to cooperate, which it thankfully did. The last time we tried one of these buses was New York and Michele and I, along with my brother and sister-in-law were the only ones on it because it was so cold and raining, so today was much better.

We hopped on the bus around 10 o’clock and had a good commentator who gave us some great history on many of the buildings we passed. It’s amazing the work and size they put into buildings so many hundreds of years ago. And statues of everyone and their horse, literally! One of the highlights was seeing St Paul’s Cathedral, which has one of the largest and highest domes, which is accessible by climbing around 600 stairs. I’m sure the views are outstanding but it was just a little outside my stair limit! Further along the route we crossed the iconic Tower Bridge, which is just as cool in real life as it is in pictures.

Beside the bridge was the Tower of London, where the Crown Jewels are kept. It is a magnificent fort looking property, where the Beefeaters offer tours, which we did not do but will if we ever come back. Halfway through the tour we hopped off (see how that works) the bus and went on a river cruise on the Thames River, where luckily enough a large sailboat was on and we got to see the Tower Bridge being raised.

After that we hopped back on the bus and travelled the rest of the route to Kensington Gardens where we ended our bus tour.

Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are a combined very large park that is beautiful and has a small lake in it and the one main thing we wanted to see – the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. I have to say it was very underwhelming. I’m not sure if its the time of year or what, but it didnt even look like it was operating properly which was disappointing. But the walk through the park was beautiful nonetheless.

Now for my cliffhanger about Picadilly Circus. What we didnt realize the first time we went there was that it was only the beginning and if we would have went a couple mor blocks we would have seen Leicester Square and all of the theatres and shops. We discovered this walking back from supper last night and went there tonight just to see it again. Now, I didn’t get the same vibe and energy that I got from Times Square but I’m glad that we did get to see the whole thing and visit the M&M store.

Today we only accomplished a little over 16,000 steps and have walked a total of approximately 35 km in the 2 1/2 days we were here. Tomorrow we fly to Cork, Ireland to start that part of our journey. There may not be as many steps but it will be my first experience driving on the wrong side of the road!

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