Day 8: Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour

Today we got up reasonably late in comparison to other days!! At 9am we were planning out what to do for the next week and a half and we decided to have long showers, pack our bags and try again at the hostel. The breakfast at the hotel was amazing!! It was the first time I'd had a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs and baked beans since I had left home. We walked to the hostel and there was a young lady as the receptionist today. We explained our situation from the night prior and she said that it was impossible to change rooms. After much discussion, we were able to twist her arms a little bit and she put Emma is my 18 bed dorm… On the same bunk as me! Once we had sorted this out, we booked the hop on hop off bus tour leaving from kings cross station. 

Our first stop along the way was at St Paul's Cathedral. The original St. Paul's cathedral burnt in the 1666 great fire of London. Three years later, the cathedral you see today, was built. It's hard to believe that something could be so old yet remain in such good condition. 

Inside it was pure amazing. The paintings on the roof were spectacular and unfortunately we were unable to take photos. After walking around, we made the climb up to the top of the dome. The stairways up there weren't made for someone tall, like myself. 

It as blowing a gale up the top so we then descended via the other stairs all the way down to the crypt. The crypt was rather eerie because dozens of historical figures are buried beneath the marble floor. 

We ran to the bus and made our way to Big Ben!! It was icy cold crossing the River Thames!

Just passed Big Ben, we saw Westminster Abbey and went to go in.

Unfortunately the visiting hours finish at 15.30pm as there is a mass on at 5pm daily. So, we stood out the front for a while…. Then we noticed that it was 4pm and probably time to get some lunch!!

The pub we found was very quaint, the dining area only seated about 20. I had a huge Cornish Pasty with baked beans! I requested mushy peas but they had run out… Such a shame!! 

Outside Downing Street (which is HEAVILY policed) we got on another hop on hop off bus to get to Buckingham Palace. The bus driver told us that he was the last bus for the night and it was best to go there in the morning (our ticket last 48 hours). We agreed, so we got off at Piccadilly Circus and got the train back to Kings Cross. We found a supermarket and because we had lunch so late, we grabbed a few small things for dinner. I found some pre cut carrots and hummus for £1… I hate carrots but because there aren't many places that stock fresh produce, I got excited!!! Dinner sorted. We did some washing and had a quiet night. 

Some fun facts we learnt from the bus:

Tower of London houses 6 ravens somewhere..It is superstition that if one of the ravens leave, the tower will fall. For this not to occur, the ravens wings are clipped and there is a ‘spare’ raven if one dies. Also, two of Henry the 8th wives were killed here. And, the oldest part of the Tower of London is the spire in the middle, dating back to 1047.

Tower bridge was built in 1894 tower bridge. The Bridge had to open to let cargo ships through as London was the biggest stock exchange city in Europe during the 1800's. London bridge was originally made of wood. When London was being invaded by ships, they would knock it down so it would block the Thames. It was made into a Norwegian folk song ‘London bridge is falling down’