Today we were meeting Jane nice and early at embankment station and getting tickets for the Big Bus tour of London. This is a hop on, hop off tour so we can get off and see the sights and get back on again. We got on the bus around the corner from the Embankment tube station. Directly opposite the bus stop were the horse guards, an amazing sight. The huge beautiful horses were so still, even when surrounded by hundreds of gawking tourists flashing cameras in their eyes. The bus took off and our tour guide started talking, she was a young girl and as Jane put it quite dorky but in a good way. The bus wound it’s way around parliament house and Big ben and across the Thames. We were told that the clock is not actually called Big Ben. The huge bell in the middle of the clock tower is actually Big Ben, named after the obese man who oversaw the installation, sir Benjamin Hall. We went past the Eye and wound our way past the Huge dragon guarding the entrance to the city of London and onto Fleet St. The sheer age of the buildings and the magnificent artistry was a little overwhelming, especially when St Paul’s dome appeared in the horizon. We had been told that it was only open from 2 till 4 today and no-one seemed to know why. We decided to get off the bus and visit later so we stayed on and went on further. We crossed London Bridge, then came back over Tower Bridge which was fantastic. The Tower of London looming up on our left was truly spectacular, I had no idea of the scale of the castle. We hopped off the bus here because this was where the ferry ride on the Thames left from. We walked down past the tower to the pier and after a short wait got onto the ferry. This was a highlight of the day, the cruise gave us a great eye level view of so many of the fantastic landmarks of London. The ferry stopped at Westminster so the three of us tramped off and decided to get some lunch at a pub. We walked into a couple looking for a nice one with wi-fi and eventually found the Carlisle. This looked more like a restaurant then a pub and the food was better accordingly. The meal was the best pub food so far in London. I had a squid salad with a nice ginger sauce while Anita had the ploughman’s board. This looked amazing, Honey ham, thick cheddar, apple relish, boiled egg, onion nice bread and celery. Anita managed the best meal in my opinion. After Lunch it was time to head to St Paul’s. This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We arrived just on 2 and because we pre purchased our tickets (again the best way to do it) we walked straight in past the queue and were among the first inside. We thought it would be better to do the climb right up to the top to the golden viewing gallery now while there were no people. The three of us started the long, steep climb. When we arrived on the Whispering gallery level, about halfway up, Anita saw how high it was and decided to go no higher. She headed back down while Jane and I went further up. The walk was very difficult, many small steps in tiny winding walkways. The Stone viewing gallery towards the top provided good views but there was more to come. Just before the top there was a little window in the floor which allowed you to look straight down at the floor from the dead centre of the top of the famous dome. Spectacular is all I can say. Then we got out onto the Golden Gallery. This was truly unbelievable. Jane took some photos I hope to put up here soon as words cannot do justice to the views we got from the very top of the famous St Pauls. We made the equally difficult trip back down to the whispering gallery where we discovered that people on each side of the viewing gallery can actually hear each other just with a whisper. Jane asked If i could hear her, i replied yes I can, she then called me a boofhead. I can almost guarantee that no-one has been called a boofhead from the Whispering gallery of St Pauls before so this was quite an achievement. We made our way back down to floor level and after a small search found Anita again. We wandered around looking at the amazing mosaics and listening to the audio tour. We wandered around fro a while and made our way to the crypt. We saw William Blake’s plaque as well as Nelson’s tomb and Wellingtons. Pretty cool. We went to the gift shop and bought yet again more badges. While there the shop lady  told us the reason the  Cathedral was closed until 2. Today was coincidentally the 300th anniversary of the current cathedral and the Queen had visited in secret that morning. In fact she would have been there when we went past the first time. If we had got out we may well have seen her. So after St Pauls we were planning on going to Piccadilly next to buy camping equipment but luckily us there was a camping shop across the road from the cathedral. It also had a huge sale on. We bought a fantastic tent, two sleeping bags and some sleeping mats all at a great bargain. We decided to spend the rest of the day on the bus tour seeing all the sights. I will upload the map the bus took asap. The rest of the day we spent atop a bus seeing nearly everything that London has to offer. 3 hours later we got off at Hyde Park and went to dinner. We found a fantastic burger place called guerilla burgers just off oxford st. Very loud good music and great food. We then got the tube back to westminster saying a very sad farewell to Janey at Victoria st where she is staying. We got the bus from westminster home again and collapsed into bed, a hugely satisfying day that I will never forget. Tomorrow we go onto birmingham so I will say a fond farewell to London. For now.

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