Can you really see all of London in only a day? Probably not. But when we were given the chance to spend 23 hours in the city, we were determined to see as much as possible.
The first thing I noticed when we landed at London Heathrow was the amazing variety of shops and restaurants right there in our terminal. You could literally never leave the airport and have one heck of a vacation. Daniel reminded me about our tight schedule and spurred me to stop the wide-eyed wandering.
As you can see by some of the photos below, the summer Olympics were in full force during our trip. Prior to our arrival, I imagined crowded streets and impossible public transportation but London was so organized that everything ran like a well-oiled machine.
The quickest and lowest priced way we have found to see and learn more about a city is a bus tour. The London Big Bus Tour had the added advantage of a free boat tour ride in your ticket price. We grabbed the boat first and had fun ride up the Thames River. (Be sure to get a window seat because there are so many great photo opportunities from Big Ben to the London Tower.) We disembarked at the Tower and grabbed the Big Bus. (The best seat for photos is the front seat on the top level.) We listened along to the recorded guide which covered all the major sites and some of the country’s rich and interesting history.
After a mandatory dinner of fish & chips with a pint of ale at a true British pub, we wound our way to the London Eye – the world’s largest observation wheel. Extended hours for the Olympics allowed us to take a ride after midnight. You won’t get a better bird’s eye view of the city than the London Eye.
Although we planned to stay awake for our entire time in London, I needed to grab just a few hours before our continuing flight to America. After about 2 hours of searching, we were lucky to find a delightful bed & breakfast for £75 (about $120 US) without a reservation.
Even though we were only able to get a taste of London in a day, we cannot wait to go back and explore more of the country.
“Our annual trip to Europe this year included an all-too brief stay in London. I have to agree with Samuel Johnson, “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”"
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