The day began with a quick breakfast in Warwick and then an hour and a half drive to return our cute little Skoda (we’ll miss you, buddy!) We hopped on the shuttle to the airport and then took a shuttle to the hotel.
The Doubletree Heathrow is convenient to the airport, I guess, but their lack of wifi in the guest rooms stings. It’s 2012, for god’s sake!
We dropped off our luggage, caught the bus to the tube, and then picked up our London Pass. All of that was much more complicated than it sounds, so its difficult for me to impress you now with our global public transportation navigation skills.
When we left the London Pass office a super helpful tour bus operator provided a few tips and directions. He explained that most attractions close at 4 and the London Pass restricted how many you can see in a day (damn you, fine print). He also tried to convince us to return to Leicester Square later for some fun and told us to look for him (Super Mario). So helpful here!
We walked down to the river and stopped into a little cafe for fish and chips and a pint and then walked across the bridge to the London Eye.
The London Eye is the most popular attraction in England. And apparently every tourist here was queued up to visit. Not only was there a Disneyland line to board, there was a Disneyland line to buy tickets. After my experiences waiting in line for hours at the CN Tower, I begged Jenni to skip it and take a cruise on the Thames instead.
Our boat left the London Eye pier and wound its way to the Tower of London. We sat on the open air deck since the weather was lovely (that’s British for fantastic). After we arrived, we headed over to the Tower Bridge Expedition.
The Tower Bridge is the fanciest bridge in London. It was designed in 1894. We climbed to the top of the north tower and then strolled around taking photos, you can see nearly the entire city! Afterwards we descended to the steam room to look at the giant steam engines that powered the bridge. Although this part was slightly less interesting to me, the machines were shiny! It was too late in the day to see the Tower of London, so we boarded the boat to go back up the river. This was an excellent decision, since it was growing dark and the entire city was lit up as we passed. We got off in Westminster, took the stairs to the street, and arrive at the foot of Big Ben as the clock struck five.
We decided to wander the city for a while and meandered through the grounds of Westminster Abbey. There was a service in progress, so we window shopped at the gift shop (which is going to require much more studying later today!) and then stollen by St James Park, Parliament, and up to Leicester Square where we found a side walk cafe with heaters and delicious Tex Mex food. After dinner we walked to Picadilly Circus for some cheap souvenirs.
We had to catch the tube to the bus station to get back to the hotel, but now that I’m a city girl, that is no proble
m! It took an hour and when we arrived we were confronted with the lack of wifi in the guest rooms which forced us to sit in the lobby bar for another hour.
I tried to order a Bloody Mary but they weren’t sure how to make it. Isn’t this where they came from? They finally came back (after googling it apparently) and said they could make it after all. That was enough for me and I called it a night. Today we are off to the Tower and other assorted sights! Wish you were here!