Tuesday, June 19, 2001
London, Day Two: “Eye on the Tower”
The queue (line!) isn’t too long, and we don’t have to wait long to board at all! The London Eye is a massive Ferris wheel overlooking London, built and operated by British Airways. The wheel moves very slowly (about 30 minutes to make one complete revolution), so we have lots of time to see everything. The views are intense!!
All of London is laid out before us… Parliament and Big Ben just across the Thames, St. Paul’s in the distance… London is a huge city of 13+ million people. It’s amazing things move as smoothly as they do. We take loads of pictures from inside our plexiglass bubble during our ride… but soon enough – it’s over.
After the Eye, we get set with tickets for the “Big Bus Tour”. This allows us to ride the double-decker bus all day long, at our convenience. Picking up at Waterloo, we cross Tower Bridge and head to St. Paul’s.
St. Paul’s is the church where Charles and (the late) Diana were married. The dome is what the U.S. and Texas capitol buildings (among others) were modelled from. We get some great shots, including a wonderful shot framing the dome with roses. After St. Paul’s, we head over to the Tower of London. We devour a lunch of fish and chips and head in!
Our overall impression is “Wow… this is much bigger than we thought!!”
We start our tour guided by Patrick, a Yeoman Guard — otherwise known as a “Beefeater”. He’s hilarious and extremely knowledgeable as he explains all about the facilities. The Tower dates back to 1080 and William the Conqueror.
Lots of pictures and facts, including a tour through the Armor Museum in the “White Tower” leads to a viewing of the Crown Jewels.
Wow. That was impressive!
A bit more walking about and some more pictures, including lots of the Tower Bridge, and it’s time to bid farewell to the grand Tower of London.
Next, we hop back on the upper level of the double decker tour bus and spend a couple of hours driving around London. Kathy’s happy because she gets to see Kensington Palace and Notting Hill!
But… our London tour has come to an end. We head for home, take-away Chinese food, and rest… for tomorrow is another adventure!!!