London Day 2: Big Bus Tour

Today was the date of our Hop On Hop Off bus tour with Big Bus Tour. So, we woke up really early despite having lack of sleep. We still had jet lag.  But I didn’t mind it. I was waking up in London!  How many people can say that? Okay fine, maybe millions. But you get my point. Going back to my story,  the meeting point of the bus tour is near Green Park. When we got to Green Park we decided to might as well visit it before getting on the bus since we’re already there. The park is full of tourists like us. I didn’t get it at first since Green Park is not that beautiful to get so much attention. We had no idea where we were going. We just followed the other tourists while admiring the greeneries of Green Park. Yes, I did that on purpose.  To our surprise, the park ended in Buckingham Palace! We kept laughing because we weren’t expecting to see the royal family’s residence until tomorrow. That explains the hordes of tourists.   

The greenest park I've ever seen

The Buckingham Palace

Surprised faces

I know you're hiding behind the curtains

Luckily, we arrived just before the changing of the guards. We waited for a while and eventually the ceremony started. There was a band playing music while the guards march. It was a festive atmosphere. Everyone was excited. Tourists like us from different parts of the globe were witnessing a long British tradition that we would normally see only in television. It was really fun. It started to drizzle so went back to Green Park after we bid goodbye to the Queen.

It started getting cold to the point that my whole body was shivering. I couldn’t feel my hands, and my back was aching because of the cold. My sisters and I ran back to the park and went inside the nearest Tube station where the temperature is warmer. I immediately went to the restroom to take a leak. I was holding it since the start of the parade. I raised my head and heaved a sigh of relief.  I freaked out when I saw a security camera directly on top of the urinal that I was using. What the hell. Was I in Big Brother?

After having coffee, we  finally rode the bus. Hop on Hop off bus tours are handy especially if you want to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time since it passes major landmarks of the city. We can just “hop on and hop off” whenever we want until our tickets expires. There was a live commentary where a tourist guide/conductor gives tourists on-board information on what we were seeing and the history of London.

What better way to get around the city than the iconic open top bus!

London apartments

The Liberty Mall

Hollister's opening day in Regent's Street

Piccadilly Circus

It's more fun in the Philippines ad

We got off at the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square to have a restroom break and find something to eat.  Museums are one of the best places to use free restrooms in Europe. Since we were already inside the museum, we decided to look around. The museum houses paintings from Western Europe from  13th to 19th century. I loved it there. I could stay there all day and just admire all the beautiful paintings they have inside.  I enjoyed it a lot than the British Museum. Too bad photography is not allowed. 

We continued our open top bus tour from Trafalgar Square. The tour guide this time was better than the first one who kept on saying “groovy” at the end of every sentence. This time the guide was very funny and knowledgeable at the same time. He never ran out of something to say about the London. I learned a lot of cool facts from him like there’s only one crypt left in St. Paul’s Cathedral and the mayor of London, Boris Johnson is allowed to be buried there with the condition that he will die during his term. Weird.  

St. Paul's Cathedral

The Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe

The Tower Bridge


Tower of London
I first saw the parliament building and “Big Ben” on-board the open top tour bus. I was literally stunned. It was like the world stopped for a minute. It was just me and Big Ben. That was our private moment. I can’t believe it. Its grandeur made me feel small and weak. I didn’t imagine it to be that massive! The moment I saw it, I let out my biggest smile for everyone to see. I was in utter ecstasy. The story doesn’t end there.  To make it even better, its bells rang when we passed by it. Are you kidding me? The gongs of the bells silenced me. To think that people centuries ago heard the same sound gave me chills. It’s one of my highlights in our Eurotrip.
Big Ben
Palace of Westminster

We got off the bus near London Eye. The tour guide said that as we get nearer to River Thames, it will get colder. He was right. It was really cold that I started shaking. The cup of coffee that I was holding kept spilling as my hand violently shakes. We then finished the night with a ride on the London Eye.

My mother enjoying the ride

Breathtaking view of the city

Bird's-eye view of the Palace of Westminster

I was shivering here

My cute little sister Sophia

Best way to end the day

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 and is filed under ,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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