Hopping Around London #TuesdayTravels

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If you’re new to London, one of the best ways to get the layout of the city is on the Hop-On Hop-Off bus. There are a number of companies that provide this service. We went with the Original London Sightseeing tour company, which dates back to the early 1900s. We hopped on the bus at Horseferry Road, a short distance from our hotel, and bought our tickets. Then we headed for the top deck of the bus.

London double-decker buses

Picture from bigstockphoto.com

One of the first things I noticed was that the air quality was much better than it had been when I visited London back in 2003. At that time, the diesel fumes were really strong and I was happy to get off the bus. This time, I could barely notice the fumes. It’s good to see that the air quality is so much better now.

Since I still didn’t have a camera with me, I’m posting some of the highlights of my hop on hop off bus trip from 2003.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Marble Arch

Marble Arch


St. Pauls

St. Paul’s

London Firefights

Monument to Firefights near St. Pauls










Valerie Millette and I really enjoyed out visit to St. Paul’s, but this time we opted to tour Westminster Abbey, and that is next week’s topic for Tuesday Travels.


Tower of London #TuesdayTravels

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Our first full day in London we got tickets for the Hop On Hop Off bus and rode to the Tower of London. I was struck by the sight of hundred of thousands of ceramic red poppies surrounding the tower in commemoration of the centennial of World War I. Since I was still without a camera, I used my remaining credits to download today’s photos from bigstockphoto.com.

Almost 900000 ceramic poppies are installed at The Tower of London to commemorate Britain's involvement in the First World War.

London United Kingdom – 16 November 2014: Almost 900000 ceramic poppies are installed at The Tower of London to commemorate Britain’s involvement in the First World War

The site was quite crowded, and we decided to pass on a visit to the Crown Jewels, since the line was quite long. Instead Linda and I walked through the Fusilier’s Museum, which tells the story of an infantry regiment raised at the tower in 1685. One of the highlights of the museum is the Eagle Standard of the 82nd Regiment of the French Line, captured during the Napoleonic Wars. Capturing an Eagle was quite a feat for any regiment to be proud of.

Next stop was the Beauchamp Tower, where prisoners were kept, some with a view overlooking the spot where executions took place. Famous prisoners were kept her, including the husband of Lady Jane Grey. One of the interesting parts is the prisoner graffiti carved into the tower walls. My traveling companion, Linda Prine, located a possible ancestor named John Prine, said to have been a Catholic priest who was a prisoner in 1568 during the reign of Elizabeth I. (Well, obviously not a direct ancestor, but perhaps related.)

Tower of London

Famous Tower of London, United Kingdom

After leaving the tower, we grabbed a bite at a nearby spot, then took a boat up the Thames from the Tower pier to Westminster Pier. Val and I did the same cruise back in 2003 and I have some of my own pictures from that.


London Eye 2003


Houses of Parliament 2003


Houses of Parliament from top deck of Thames cruise boat.

More from London next week.