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London Ho Ho Day 1

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Day 56 Wednesday 10 November - “London Ho Ho Day 1”

Very brisk this morning and for the first time in a while, there's no rain. We walk down to Camden Town, the nearest tube station, about 30 minutes away. A very helpful lady at the ticket counter sorts out our ticket requirements, we buy two lots of Day Travel-cards, one set for today another for tomorrow. They cover the inner two zones of London for travel after 9:30 (off-peak).

We set off to find a meeting point for our Hop On Hop Off Bus. We manage to find our way to the Embankment Station. Pretty simple, all on the one line. The trains are frequent, fast and clean. There are no less than 13 lines that create a spider's web of interconnecting lines servicing over 300 stations.

We happen to find the bus just as we arrive and settled back to enjoy the streets, squares and other scenes previously only seen on TV or read about in books and on-line. All goes well until we approach the area of Westminster where there are signs that there are problems ahead. Up to now we'd moved along quite well but when we advanced less than 3 bus lengths during about 10 cycles of the traffic lights we figured there was something wrong. We thought it may have been the barricading of the roads in preparation for Remembrance Day events but then decided they'd have plenty of time to do that overnight. We'd also observed a very large group of men and women in 'office' attire crowding the footpath outside an office building. Thought of bomb scare, false fire alarm or just an evacuation drill, never did find out.

It took some time to find the cause of our delay, over 50,000 students protesting against increases in tuition fees. Buses literally parked, trucks and taxis at a standstill, we crawled up Whitehall. We finally broke free of the grid-lock but I was in need of an urgent toilet stop, so we got off. Rather than risk sitting in more traffic for even more time we decided to do our own thing.

I've always had an image of Covent Garden Market as a giant fresh food market, so we hopped on the tube and found it. How disappointing, lots of 'junk' stalls, some interesting food outlets but no fresh produce to speak of.

We decided to visit Hyde Park Corner where the recently opened Australian War Memorial is located. Back on the tube and managed some line changes and got there in short order. The Memorial is unusual but very impressive.

By now it is getting late for us so we decide to check out our proposed route to Heathrow on Friday, so we travel to King's Cross and take the opportunity to revisit St Pancras where we switch to the line to Camden Town. A quick visit to a supermarket and we catch the bus to our hotel. Our 1-day card has served us well.


Posted by greynomadm 23:07 Archived in United Kingdom

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Very proud of the way you guys are doing the public transport thing. I'm such a taxi/cab gal now and trains and busses are all a bit daunting. Glad the weather has cleared a little. Love to you both!!!

by MelandLes

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