Saturday, March 19, 2011

Views from a tour bus London

Thanks to my travel agent had a layover in London. I figured I may as well try to make the best of it as I don’t know if or when I may get back to London.

We took a Big Bus Tour bus from Piccadilly Circus tube station. The bus tour starts near the Ritz Hotel across the street from the station. As it was my intention to go to the London Eye and this tour stops there it was a good fit for me. This was one of those times when we were short of time and local knowledge so the bus fit our needs which were to get us to the London Eye and back to Piccadilly Circus Tube Station.

I will say that we weren’t aware of the time and distance so that added to our shortage of time. Our hotel was just outside of Heathrow Airport and the airport itself is quite large. We rode the bus for nearly half hour straight before leaving the airport proper and our hotel was just across the street from it.

We asked at the hotel how to get to London and were advised that we could take a free bus back to the airport and then pick up the tube to London. So there was nearly an hour of time wasted waiting for the bus and then riding back to the airport. Here’s the weird thing though we had to buy a bus ticket back to the hotel when we came back. Just an aside we didn’t plan on. So we rode the bus to the airport and then rode the tube to Piccadilly Circus Tube Station where we went out and located the tour bus stand. You purchase your tickets from people outside on the sidewalk. The tickets are good for 48 hours.

The tour Busses leave on a regular schedule so we had a bit of a wait until the bus was ready to depart. The bus tour has several tour buses going at one time and they are differentiated by colours, just make sure that you get on the same colour bus that you were on so you can continue on the same tour. If you change colour bus then it will be going a different direction that the other colour. You may get on and off the bus as often as you wish. There is a little catch in the afternoon in that after a certain time period you can get off the bus but you can’t get back on. This little bit of info sort of put us in a bad place time wise.

I’d say that the tour bus guide was pretty knowledgeable about the sights on the tour but between looking up and down streets for buildings and passing other tall vehicles it was difficult to actually see more than just micro glimpses of some of the sights. I have never been in London or Great Britain before it really didn’t matter all that much to me. Just being there and seeing some of the ‘famous’ historic sites was incredible enough.

I learned, from the tour guide, that circus is derived from the Latin word meaning circle so that was my you learn something every day goal.

The tour was interesting like I said. However the fact that I was totally disoriented and in a strange place trying to be a tourist and take photos from a moving bus is sort of challenging, to say the least. Would I do the bus tour again? The answer is a simple yes. I think this is the best way to pick out places that you are interested in seeing and if you have time then go back to them at your leisure.

Big Bus Tour’s web site for London


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