It has long been my practice to jump on the Hop On Hop Off bus when I get to a new place just so I can get my head around the layout and choose places I would like to see up close and personal.
But until yesterday I had never ventured onto the circuit in London.
It was brilliant and irritating in rather equal measures, partially cos I had obviously been to lots of the places before and some many times, and so wanted to whip by them and get to other places of greater interest, but something odd was going on yesterday and at almost every bus stop, the driver sort of threw out the anchor and had a little ZZZZ off.
I went and asked him why all this was going on and he waved his little schedule in my face and thought that explained it. Unfortunately for me, a ten minute stop at one place, when the buses were supposed to fun every 6 minutes, just did not compute. I guess what I am saying is that if you are in a hurry, go by regular bus, they are pretty reliable and frequent and if you end up somewhere odd, well, all the better, but if you have all day and don't care about getting what it says on the pack, then by all means go on the Tourist bus.
The fog had descended on London yesterday and after lunchtime, when the blue sky took over, it was bloody fabulous to be on the open top deck, shaking hands with the Conker trees, - yeh I don't know what they are really called. Everywhere I looked there was Autumn. The colours are better remembered than photographed on my phone but here's a little eye spy of Conkers and Hyde Park.
I initially tried to get some Monopoly board photos for Zig, but soon gave it away, cos I reckoned that the quality was gonna be pretty shit, and besides I really wanted to just sit and look at this city that I love.
Even though I had opted for the cheapest route (22 quid), and the driver was a pain in the butt, the tour went everywhere, except for The Globe Theatre and The Tate Modern - yeh that was the only stop I planned to hop OFF - oh well. I am guessing, though certainly don't know for sure, that perhaps the rules and regulations are all a bit fuddled and muddled on Sundays.
The commentary was interesting and whoever was doing the voice over often did a reasonable Dame Judy D impersonation and it made me smile thinking that perhaps she was sitting there just having a chat to us.
I am sorry that I had put away my camera cos as the day progressed and the lighting changed there really were some spectacular sights, perhaps the Shard spiking out into the mist was my favourite, but it's a memory not a pic. I was struck by how many tourists seemed to see nothing that wasn't snapped into their phones. Seriously the use of selfie sticks requires a game of fiddle sticks if you fancy changing seats, handy if you need a bit of a nose picking or you want to stab someone in the eye.
I reckon that I must have been on the bus for about 3 hours, and as I was cold and my arse had turned square, and the driver had come up to say that he was stopping AGAIN, I jumped off and walked up to Trafalgar Square, passed the lions and the National Gallery up a sort of side street and jumped onto a tube homeward bound.
This is a truly brilliant way to see this wonderful place.
Michael and Chris you should do a bit of an online reccie cos there are 3 companies and the tickets are many and the inclusions are a little confusing. I guess like all things touristy you need to use your brains and keep a hand on your wallet.