Can it be done? Sure it can. Our day started at 8:30 with a short bus ride to the Hatton Cross Tube Station. The weather was fantastic. Sunshine and no wind! A great day to be golfing. (But of course we’d be site seeing) A quick £16 later we had our tickets and were ready to head into town. Of course having a ticket and knowing what to do with it are two different things. We finally figured it out. Slide the ticket in and grab it back as you go through the turnstiles. (Note: the used ticket needs to be kept as it is needed to get back out of the Tube at the end of your ride.)  By 10:00 we were out of the Tube at Hyden Park and were sitting atop the Original Bus Tour and were heading off for our tour. We rode past Wellington’s Arch, the Marble Arch, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Parliament, House of Commons, London Bridge, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. (Oh, and a lot of Starbucks’)  Drive by site seeing. There were soooo many tourists, we didn’t’ even try to get out and go into see the sites.

 

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At the Tower of London we switched modes of transportation and got onto one of the Thames site seeing boats. A different view of some earlier sites and without the traffic. We spent a lot of time sitting in traffic on the bus due to all the street work being done.

 

Once the boat ride had ended, we wandered over to the London Eye… a giant ferris wheel of sorts with 32 “pods” that hold about 25 people each, rotating at 1 mph. It is the 4th highest structure in London and a great way to see the city… except for the tons of other tourists all with the same idea. Again we opted to avoid the site up close and personal.

 

From here we walked across the Thames and settled into a little pub for lunch. The pub was called the Sherlock Holmes. Other than the spelling, we thought there was a chance we’d run into Larry and Carol here. (I didn’t say it was a good thought!)

 

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As we ate lunch I noticed it was getting a little dark outside. Since it was only 2:00 I had an uneasy feeling about this. Yep, it had started raining. But hey, we’re from Seattle… what’s a little rain. So off we went looking for a tour bus to take us back to Hyde Park. No luck… it rained harder and harder (and a little thunder to add to the effects). We had some small umbrellas that helped some, but we were still getting pretty soaked. Finally we had found our way back to Hyde Park… walked around the park to the Princess Diana memorial (passed on walking up to the Peter Pan statue). But as you can tell, walking has been a major theme on our vacation so far!

 

At this point, Liann had a smashing idea. The skin care products that we got in first class were from London, so we look it up and sure enough even Frommer’s has it listed… so off again into town we walk… past Wellington’s Arch, down Piccadilly, around the corner and down Regent, back up Regent, back down Piccadilly and finally (after asking directions) found the location where the store USED to be… whew! What a hoot!

 

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So now we’re ready for dinner. It is getting close to 6:30 and we’ve been at it for 10 hours. Liann and Sandi ask an older “businessman” where he’d go if he was looking for a “real London experience”. He wasn’t really sure given the part of town we were in… not really sure what he meant by that but figured we should stick to the main streets. He suggested a couple of Italian places, but we didn’t think that would give us the London experience… don’t know why, just another thought. (Note: the girls later claim to have seen the same gent in the Tube lobby “living the London experience” swapping spit with a young lady.)

 

But the highlight of the day was heading back in the Tube. We all head down and there is a train there just leaving. I give Rick a quick “head fake” and thinking I’m getting on, he jumps on at the other end of the car… but we don’t get on. We take a couple of trains later and knowing we’re on the “right” train, spend the ride surmising where Rick will end up. Not to fear, he’s waiting for us at the end of the line.

 

Back to the hotel at 8:30 for a couple of pints and we have done London in one day!

 

More Photos… don’t forget to go to the Photo Galleries

 

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