London - Day 2

Trip Start Aug 06, 2007
Trip End Oct 07, 2007

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Up early and had a good breakfast for an early start on our Premium Full day London Tour. We were to be picked up from a nearby Hotel and were there on time at 7.35am. Unfortunately there was a delay and we were picked up by a Contract feeder driver at 7.50am. We continued around the area uplifting more passengers and were transferred onto the correct bus at 8.30am.

We had a full bus when we started our tour and it started with a tour around London and this complimented yesterday's tour very well. Our first photo stop was the St Paul's Cathedral.

The weather was overcast but reasonably warm and good for photographs. then we continued to the Tower of London and had a Yeoman Warder meet us and give us a guided tour of the Tower of London.. We were the first of the day and the Warder (Beefeater) was great.

To get this job; they first must spend at least 20 years in the Armed Forces and usually obtain the rank of Warrant Officer or Sergeant Major.We were told about the Traitors G which was where they brought in there prisoners, The White Tower which was the first part of the Castle constructed, Shown the Crown Jewels and the Armouries, not to mention the Torture Chambers and where many lost their heads.

Then we went to Buckingham Palace for a photo shoot as we had been there yesterday, it wasn't a real priority as the changing of the guard was not going to take place. That aside, it is a fantastic place and the history, security involved is amazing.

We then went to the Thames and we had a 25 minute ride along the Thames to the Globe Theatre or South Bank Pier. The water was a dirty brown and did not look too hygienic which surprised me as i thought it would have been better. There was also a guide on the boat to give us an understanding of the history of the area. Of course we passed Big Ben, the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and many other famous buildings there.

One thing i saw was the old NZ Navy ship the Wellington which is a floating restaurant and i was surprised that this had occurred. The last time i saw it, it was a proud navy ship and it looked a little sad just floating like a lost sole. It has now been painted white.

At the South Bank Pier we saw the Golden Hind replica in a dry dock and it was next to this that we had our lunch at a local pub. I had steak, peas and chips on the waters edge and it was lovely.

After lunch we went to the West Minister Abbey and what a lovely building. We were guided through this and visited Poets corner, the many different Chapels and got a good history of this Icon. We also learned that there were over 2000 persons buried under the floors there and that there are to be no more placed there. Jackie really like this visit the best of the day and the many different stories made an interesting 2 hours.

After that we went on the London Eye and this was the last part of our tour. Others were to go to Harrods for afternoon tea but we chose this option.

The London Eye stands 135 meters high on the South Bank between Waterloo and Westminster Bridges. Each pod takes about 25 persons but we only had  about 8 in with us. The trip took about 35minutes and was very slow, but it offered very spectacular views of the city. Many photos were taken here and during the day.

After that we came home via the Metro and this was a real experience for us. By asking many for instructions we found our way and enjoyed the experience even though it cost some 8 which surprised us.

We got off at Oxford Circus and dallied home with Jackie stopping off frequently at the shops. The crowds were very large and Jackie didn't really have much time as the shops were closing but at least she did get some opportunity.

On our way home we had an easy dinner at one of the locals and after getting on the Internet are going to have a reasonably early night. It is now 10pm. 
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