Hop On, Hop Off

Trip Start May 01, 2010
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Trip End May 24, 2010


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Where I stayed

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, May 3, 2010

After a much-needed 12 hour sleep, and struggling to get my shower to work, I was off for day 2 in London. My first stop was the Contiki Basement, where I bought some internet time to e-mail & Facebook everyone back home (this, later, would prove to be dumb, as the lobby of the Royal National has free wi-fi I could have used on my iPod, oh well!). I then bought my ticket for The Original Sightseeing Tour, the hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city.
I HIGHLY recommend this tour, for sure. I did the yellow tour around the city, which was so worth my money. I got to see basically all of the sights I wanted to see in London (with the exception of the Globe Theatre, that will be my next visit to London!), while riding on a double-decker bus! The tour guides I had were fantastic, I learned so much about the city from them, though I wish I could remember it all! I stayed on the top of the bus the whole time, got way better views from there than you would on the bottom, though I did have to endure the random bipolar weather throughout the day. It was beautiful when I got on the bus, then it rained, then it stopped, then it rained, then it stopped, all day long. The rain got to be rather painful while sitting atop an open-top bus while driving in the wind. Oh well, it has to be expected, it is London, after all!
The only hopping on/off I did on the tour was at the Tower of London, which I was told was a total must-do while in London. And I'm sure it would be, if it doesn't start pouring and therefore the guided tour gets cut short, and also if the White Tower, the central tower, wasn't closed for renovations.
But anyways... My camera's batteries died right as I got to the Tower, so my first stop was the gift shop, where I paid an arm and a leg for some new AA batteries, which I had in my suitcase at the hotel (let me tell you, I never forgot extra batteries after that). After that, I headed in. I was thankful that my friend gave me her British Palace pass, because it saved me a good amount of money on admission!
I waited to go on the free Yeoman guided tour, which was pretty good, though I couldn't always hear him because there was SO many people, and also the tour got condensed quite a bit because of the random downpour we recieved. But hey, it's a free tour, can't expect too much!
After the tour, I was going to go wander the area by myself, but I ended up talking to a girl in a Canada sweater, Jaime, who ended up being from Montreal, and we wandered around the place together.
The crown jewels were spectacular, as expected. But that's all I can really think of that stood out about the Tower of London though. I mean, there's a lot of history, but I just couldn't really get into it!
Anyways, after spending about 3 hours there (including lunch, which was a gigantic chicken leg), I hopped back on to the bus to finish up my tour of the city. I regret not going on one of the Thames cruises that's included with the hop-on hop-off ticket, but I just didn't have time! So I just headed back to my hotel, grabbed a sandwich from a Pret a Manger for supper and chilled out and had a good sleep to prepare for the big day tour tomorrow!

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