London | 20th July 2013
Today was probably one of the loneliest days I had on my trip, mainly because most of the people left in London were heading home on this day. I woke up pretty early this morning because I wanted to get as much into the day as possible. First up was breakfast, which was pretty bland but sustained me for the morning, then after that I got ready for my solo bus tour around London.
The tour company that I got a ticket for was the Original Bus Tour and it was pretty cool because it had a stop right in front of the hotel and came around every 10 – 15 minutes or so. Also you had the chance to hop on and off at any stop at anytime of the day. The ticket was good for 24 hours so I made marks on my map of the places I wanted to see in particular. First thing I wanted to see was Buckingham Palace and watch the changing of the guard, which was scheduled for 11am. I was really good with timing and got the hang of the route changes pretty quick, but when I got to Buckingham Palace there were so many people, I was getting worried I wouldn’t be able to see anything. But I managed to bob and weave my way through all the people and get to a spot right up against the gate. I don’t know if I got the times mixed up but we were standing there for quite a while before anything started and once it did everyone had bunched up again so it was hard to get a spot where you could see things clearly. I did get some photos but I also had to ask some random person to stick my camera through the gat to get a clearer one!
After that I got back onto the tour bus and headed for the ticket office on Leicester Place, where I could claim tickets for a show on the West End. The tickets that come with the package are usually for smaller shows but I was told that I could use them to get a discount off of other shows so I chose to get tickets to Wicked for 7:30pm. I think I ended up paying 50 Pounds or so extra for the ticket but I wasn’t too fussed because I always wanted to watch it anyway and what better way to watch than in London!
Back on the bus I just rode it around the city taking pictures of the big tourist attractions and listening to the audio information as we saw each landmark. I really wanted to get down and take a closer look at most places but I didn’t have enough time to really see everything up close because I still wanted to eat and make it back to the hotel so I could get ready for Wicked.
I did however make time to go to Harrods! I hopped off the bus at Hyde Park and took a little walk around then went to Pret to grab a fruit salad and a drink. I was a bit confused as to where Harrods actually was from the place I got off the bus so I had to ask one of the people in the shops near to point me in the right direction. If ever you’re lost, seriously don’t hesitate to ask people because they all seemed so happy to help out and it made me feel super safe while I was going around by myself. After walking down a really long road and doing some window shopping in the high end designer brand stores I finally cam to Harrods! It was just a big as I expected and the outside looked exactly like in pictures I had seen, with the green tarps with Harrods written in a goldish colour.
Inside was even more amazing, with an emphasis on the ‘MAZE’! it is so big that they even have information desks with maps and booklets letting you know what is on each level and where you can find everything. I walked around for quite a bit looking at things that have been on my “lust” list of things to buy when I win the lottery and seriously even the displays are just so memorizing I could have spent the whole day there! But I did want to buy some souvenirs form the gift shop and yes they have their own gift shop! I always wanted one of those shopping bags that had Harrods written on it and boy were there many to choose from! The original bag is the green on with gold writing, much like the tarps outside of the building but there were so many other pretty ones it took me a good hour to decide which one I wanted to buy! I ended up getting a pink shopper bag with gold writing and crowns and I also picked up the white one with the building illustrated on the front. They were pretty pricey but I can’t buy them anywhere else so I just got them and was so excited to take them back home to Sydney. Before I left the store, I made my way to the food hall and was just so shocked at its size. Everything looked and smelled amazing! I was particularly fond of the pastry section because I love sweets! There were gigantic meringues and donuts on display, making my mouth water so I ended up buying some of those. They were by far the best I had ever tasted and if ever I go back there those will be the first things I would buy!
Up next was Piccadilly Circus, which is kind of like London’s time square and some shopping on Oxford street! I didn’t actually buy much on this day because I was pressed for time so I pretty much just made a mental list of the shops I wanted to go to the day after so I had a good idea of where the shops were. After I walked around for a bit, I don’t know why but I got back to the hotel via the tube. I think it may have been because the bus stop was pretty far away and the station was just near where I was standing so I opted for the lazy way back.
When I got back to the hotel I got ready for the show and just got some dinner at Nandos which was in the same shopping place we had Japanese the night before. After eating i took the tube to Victoria station. By this point I wasn’t worried about taking public transport or walking around in a new place on my own because I had gotten use to it from the big Contiki tour. The theatre that Wicked was being held at was the Apollo theatre and it was pretty small compared to other theatres I have been to. Nonetheless the play was outstanding and the actors were amazing in it too! Fiero was really hot and I don’t blame Glinda or Elphaba for falling for him! I’d actually really like to see it again someday if I can maybe here in Sydney! I picked up a t-shirt from the show and took some photos of the headline posters out the front then walked back to the tube station to get home. There were lots of people on the train coming from different shows and a lot of them were heading back to the Royal National, so again I felt pretty safe even though it was dark. The show ended late at night so I just went straight up to the room and fell asleep, ready to do some major shopping before my flight home the next day! xx