London Bike Tour - Sunday
Trip Start Jul 02, 2012
58Trip End Oct 04, 2012
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In the afternoon, we decided to go on the London version of the bike tours we'd taken in Paris. We gave ourselves an hour to get there on the tube because of the Carnival traffic, and needed all of that time when we walked directly in to the middle of the crowd as we changed lines at one point. Moving between trains was crazy, the tunnels were packed, wall to wall people all inching along trying to go in the same direction. Luckily none of suffer from claustrophobia because there was little breathing space. When we got near the exit, we discovered that the way out was via two lifts which were clearly not handling the hundreds of people needing to get out. An enterprising passenger opened the emergency exit to the stairs which warned of 128 steps to the exit. It was a slow climb, shoulder to shoulder and crammed in like sardines.
We went through, past and by Hyde Park, St James Park, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Gardens, St Martins in the Fields, Whitehall, Houses of Parliament & Big Ben, and the Diana Memorial Fountain. Our guide was great, noticeably different from the out-there American guides we had on the Paris tours but full of great stories, information and history.
One story that was new for us was about the impressive monument that stands on Hyde Park corner. The Wellington Arch has "The Angel of Peace" standing on top of it. When you look closely at it you can see a small boy's face peaking out. This is actually the son of the man who funded the sculpture and has absolutely nothing to do with the meaning of the sculpture!
Arriving back to the crowded streets after the bike tour, we had a lovely meal at an Italian restaurant and then braved the underground again to head home. More life education for Michael as we sat on the train with some rather worse for wear Carnival goers. There were some sights there he certainly hasn't seen before!