Monday, 8 August 2011

School Holidays....

I took my youngest daughter to London for a day trip - she wanted to go on the London Eye, ride around the city on an open top bus and buy some Jimmy Choos - I agreed to everything except the last request - that really meant I would have had to buy the shoes - do you have any idea of the cost????

We travelled down by train - I got a great on-line deal, first class tickets, so everything was good. As usual for me on a trip the weather was good - in fact it was sweltering. We did 'The Eye' and wandered towards Trafalgar Square where we hooked up with one of the 'Tour of London' bus companies - this was expensive, I think it cost me around £30.00 - but for anyone staying in London for a couple of days it was probably reasonable value - the tickets last 24 hours and entitle you to unlimited travel on any of the various routes they cover, plus evening 'specialist tours' such as Harry Potter, Ghosts, The Beatles in London etc etc - and also you can travel on the River tours. We did the tour of London with a guide, followed by the river trip from Waterloo Bridge to The Tower of London and back - it was good and the guides were excellent - our bus guide was a Shakespearian actor who performs at The Globe, he does the tour thing for some extra cash and because he enjoys it - it showed, he was great.

Whilst in London it was interesting to note how many cyclists there are. We had a picnic sitting on some grass close to quite a busy road - we counted 300 cyclists in about 15 minutes - all of them zipping through the traffic with confidence and, in some cases, alarming abandon. Apparently there are 500,000 cycle journeys in London each day - extraordinary! That's a 91% rise since 2000. I watched with interest but felt that riding in London wouldn't be much fun for me. It's just too chaotic. When we rode LeJog we went through quite a few busy town/city centres - and it was okay, quite enjoyable even. Especially when the traffic was queuing and we could speed past without joining the frustration. But London is different - so big and unforgiving - everyone seems to know exactly where they are going and they travel at a pace - it's no place to dawdle around looking at maps or signs if you pause it's quite likely that someone would hit you from behind. I saw a number of close-calls, mostly with pedestrians stepping into the edge of the road without properly checking... ouch!!

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