I booked us on a really late train back to Liverpool so we could make the most of our time in London. Consequently we had a bit of a lie in on Sunday morning because we had another full day ahead of us. We had breakfast in the Cote restaurant behind Trafalgar Square. I ordered Eggs Benedict without the ham and was once again reminded why French people’s attitude to vegetarians drives me crazy – you’d think I’d asked for sautéed puppy by the look on the waitress’ face!! One day I will not be looked at with derision and confusion by our French cousins. But I’m not holding my breath waiting for that day to arrive.
After breakfast we took a walk down to the river and got river cruise tickets. Another 2for1 deal and we had all day hop on hop off tickets for £19 (deal is only valid until 1st June). We got on our City Cruises boat at Westminster at lunch time, and headed up towards Greenwich. I love to see the city by boat – it’s a totally different experience from sitting on a bus, or dipping in and out of the Underground. It was unseasonably cold so we sat right at the front of the boat under cover and got some great views but rubbish photos because of the glass. So at Tower Bridge we moved into the middle of the boat to get good photos, but froze our little hands off!! Which bright spark said it looked really warm outside and we didn’t need warm clothes?? We arrived in Greenwich again about 80 minutes later and decided to go for some lunch! I think it was more to get warm and not because either of us was actually hungry!
A quick half in the Gypsy Moth and then we caught the boat back. We got off at Tower Bridge this time and visited the Tower of London. In all the years I lived down south I never visited the Tower before so we were both proper tourists at this point! It’s a seriously impressive building and despite neither of us being fans of our monarchy we really enjoyed the historical aspect of the building. Lots of jokes were made about being arrested for treason and executed and we reminded ourselves of one of our favourite Pele songs – Raid The Palace (but quietly under our breaths, just in case!!). This was another 2for1 deal courtesy of Virgin and I think the normal price is a bit steep (£19 per adult) but if you can find a 2for1 deal it’s ok. I guess if you spent all day there it would be worth £19 but we didn’t arrive till 3:30 so only had a couple of hours there.
Back on the boat to Westminster (via the London Eye) and a gentle stroll up to the Strand where we made a pit stop in Starbucks. Still a little time to kill before our train so we wandered on to the Strand and spotted a Routemaster bus parked nearby, with a queue of people standing next to it. Pete had said all weekend how much he wanted to go on one of these old buses, and although we’d seen a few around we didn’t know if they were in service or not. Luckily it was – just doing touristy trips from Trafalgar Square to Tower Bridge. This was the last one of the day so we were in luck – we took the bus as far as St Paul’s and got off to have a look.
I like St Paul’s – it’s a beautiful building but I’ve never been inside. And I was thwarted again today – services were on and although you could go in if you wanted to attend the service you couldn’t just pop in for a quick look. Understandable but annoying! So we settled for wandering round the garden and then heading over the wobbly bridge to get that iconic view of St Paul’s from the Tate Modern! Back to Charing Cross on a modern bus which I actually quite like. They constantly tell you where you are, and what the next stop is. I like that – being totally paranoid about being lost I find it comforting to have the bus tell me where I am.
Nice easy journey back to Euston with much heavier bags than we arrived with and an hour and a half to kill before our train. We our both those annoying people who are never late for anything – I’d rather be an hour early than 5 minutes late. This is especially important when catching trains. We had a couple of beers in the Britannia pub (upstairs at Euston) then got supplies for the journey. The train was much busier than I thought it was going to be and I thought we were going to have to share our table. A lady sat down and then wandered away, leaving her coat behind, only to return a few minutes later and take her coat and her suitcase and move to another carriage. What a relief – I hate sharing!! And it’s a good thing too – I was unbearably hot and uncomfortable the whole journey so I’m glad I had two seats to stretch out on. Not sure what was wrong but there was no air conditioning and the heating seemed to be up quite high.
We finally made it back to Liverpool, following my customary waving to Clair game. Clair lives near the railway line in Crewe and I always send her a message to let her know I’m passing by and waving. She even stayed up late to wait for me <g>.
So back in Liverpool – very tired but full of love for that there London town again. I missed you London. I shall return.