Topic: London Holidays
Today we would have a city hop-on-hop-off tour. This tour is offered by several operators in London; Big Bus and Original tours being most important. Our tour was booked with Original tour operator. These tour operators run buses on a predefined ring path every 10 minutes. One can alight at any interesting point and board after visiting the attraction. I would recommend taking this Bus tour only if someone is interested in just watching London from Bus without getting down anywhere. Doing hop on hop off really does not make sense because you can hardly cover 2-3 spots if you spend good time. For hop on and hop off, Tube is much cheaper and convenient.
Although today I would have this tour, the first thing I did in morning is to purchase Oyster cards for us. Oyster cards are like debit card where one can credit some balance to the card, and can use it as and when bus/tube travel is done. Generally 8 pounds are sufficient for unlimited travels in a day.
We boarded hop-on-hop-off bus and got down at Madam Tussauds’ museum. Tube users should get down at Bakers Street tube station. We entered the museum after security checks. Visitors are not allowed to carry camera tripods inside the museum. Also video recording not allowed. Madam Tussauds’s museum was a great experience to see celebrities’ life like vex figures. We took photographs with Bollywood stars, sport persons and other great personalities. The museum has other sections like horror room, super heroes and 3D show etc. All sections are equally interesting and charming. We spent close to three hours there and then exited. The museum was very crowded and ticket queues were also longer. Visitors can skip part of long ticket queues by booking tickets online.
We then searched for an Indian restaurant for lunch but didn’t find any. Therefore we managed with burgers at McDonalds. Then we continued hop tour and got down at London bridge only for taking tower bridge photographs (Some people refer tower bridge mistakenly as London bridge). We spent some 15-20 minutes here and then continued the tour. After passing through tower bridge we got down at Tower of London. We just roamed around and then took a Thames cruise from tower pier to Westminster pier. This cruise gives close shots of Tower Bridge, St. Paul's cathedral, London eye and Big Ben. The tour takes some 30 minutes to complete excluding waiting time to board. It was being 17:00 hrs and we decided to return hotel early. We discontinued hop tour here and boarded a city bus to hotel. Here we used the Oyster card for the first time; a very convenient tool in London.
While roaming around hotel, a Pakistani fellow gave us a pamphlet of a restaurant located very close to the hotel. The restaurant named Pride of India is run by some Pakistani citizens and offer vegetarian buffet at cost of 7 pounds, and non-vegetarian buffet at cost of 9 pounds. We had dinner in the restaurant. The restaurant served decent food. We then returned to the hotel and went to sleep.