Sunday, August 3, 2014

Big Bus Tour in London

We left Newbury without incident and made it back to London.  We then carried all of our luggage, the stroller and the baby up and down a flight of stairs to get through the underground station.  We eventually made it to our hotel, Rushmore, just around the corner of Earls Court Station.  Our hotel was a pleasant surprise and the location was wonderful.  

We stopped for lunch at a Byron's Proper Hamburger location.  The 'Smoky' burger was fantastic and the decorations in the shop were adorable.  The whole place had a very French vintage feel, with the wallpaper and furnishings.

We sat outside and this was the view from our table.


And this little diner was adorable as usual.  He was much cuter when he had food in front of him and he wasn't yelling at me.


From there we got on the Big Bus Tour.  We hopped off for a Harry Potter walking tour that was included with our ticket.  The tour took us through Trafalgar Square.



The tour was okay, I am looking forward to rewatching some of the movies to see if I can pick out a few of the seems they showed us.  


This is how Malachi spent a good bit of the walking tour.  


We walked by the Nigerian embassy.  Jon travels to Nigeria for work so it was neat to see their base in England.



This alley of book sellers was one of J.K. Rowlings inspirations for Diagon Alley.  These shops had some very high end books.  


The Harry Potter in this window was a signed first edition.  Our guide said it would run in the thousands of pounds.


The next stop was an inspiration for Nocturne Alley.


These are gas lamps and barrel windows.  The alley had a lot of character.


This sweet shop was an inspiration for the movie as well.  They also have Harry Potter candy that you can buy, Chocolate Frogs, Slugs, Every Flavor Jelly Bean, and a few others.  They come at a premium, but it is a fun treat for a Harry Potter fan.


This alley is in one of the later movies, and it is in a seen with the Death Eaters, after they go through Trafalgar Square, the come up Charring Cross and into this alley.


They then enter Diagon Alley through this alley.  The government has had to put up a gate with anti climbing measures to keep people out of this private alley.


We skipped out on the last few minutes of the tour to grab an afternoon snack at Starbucks.  After 2 hours of carrying Malachi around I was worn out!  Then we hopped back on the tour bus to finish our tour of London.  Unfortunately we got stuck in rush hour traffic going through the financial district.  We had a little fun with Malachi while we waited.


This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.


Our guide was great.


Malachi got to hold the microphone.

We got off the bus by the Tower of London and hopped on a river cruise to take us back down to the London Eye.


The tower bridge.



The new London Bridge, the old one was sold to the state of Arizona.


Big Ben and Westminster.


At this point in the day Malachi was DONE.


Laura had pre booked a ticket on the London Eye and she was really excited about going for a ride.


But, we had to get there first.  Malachi had fun working on his sea legs.


The boat took us right to the dock at the London Eye.  Laura had bought a combo ticket at Madame Tussauds to save money.  When you get to the London Eye with one of those tickets you have to turn it in for an actual ticket and then you have to get in line.  Laura was a champ and bought a fast pass ticket to so we didn't have to wait quite as long.  The trip around the London Eye takes 30 minutes.  It is in almost constant, but very slow motion.  Laura timed her visit almost perfectly to see the city as the sun set.  She had a very good time.  

Malachi and I visited the free restrooms, including a baby changing room.   I was less than thrilled with the condition of the bathroom, but thankful that it was there.


From here we hopped back on the underground and trekked back to the hotel.  It was a fun day, but I don't remember being that tired in a long time.  


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