Saturday, August 31, 2013

London Day Trip

We touched down in London at 06:10 and collected our baggage, cleared Customs & Immigration and headed off to the bus depot. Our hotel was a Holiday Inn by the M4 and as the previous busses that we used on our first week in London didn’t connect well, we used the Hoppa Bus that took us directly to the front door.  Expensive but convenient.

Our room was not available so we stored our bags & headed back to the terminal and the tube. Familiar ground! We set off to meet our cruise friends Dan & Vicki Hitchens who live 20 minutes outside Birmingham. They took the train down to spend the day touring around with us.
Dan, Vicki and Kelly await our Clipper Catamaran
Tower Bridge
Belfast and the Shard
We met up at one of the tube stations and quickly got re-acquainted. As we had no real plan it was decided that, after a stop at Starbucks for some badly needed caffeine, a boat tour around the Thames would work well.  The Clipper would whip around between the many stations along the Thames so we could hop on or off as we liked with a day pass. Dan loves a bargain and had a couple two for one passes... Kelly was impressed!!

We cruised around and went past many familiar sites we had seen the previous trip..,, the Belfast, the Eye, Tower Bridge, the Horniman at Hays etc... we continued on down to Greenwich Village and walked around the area. Saw the refurbished Cutty Sark and toured around the village doing a little geocaching as we went.. Look a pub I yelled! In we went for lunch and a pint of Guinness:-)

London Eye
Cutty Sark
Dan's floating pub! The Wibbley Wobbley
We jumped back on the clipper and headed to this neat old boat that Dan had once been to. The Wibbly Wobbly was an old German boat converted into... yep you guessed it.. a pub! We had another pint and enjoyed the ambiance of the old gal. We chatted about upcoming cruises, recent weddings and enjoyed each others company. A great afternoon.
Obviously they have not heard me sing:-)
Outside the O2 Dome

Next stop was the O2 Dome and all the facilities within. Incredible structure with many restaurants & bars (Yes... pubs too!) We queued up for our return trip to Monument Tube Station enjoying the high speed catamaran’s performance when the skipper opened the taps up! A little water splash never hurt anyone!

Kelly is always goofing around :-)
Trying not to get wet on the Clipper
Once there we said our goodbyes unsure when our paths would cross again. Open invitations to visit were duly swapped and they headed off home. We jumped the tube and after one transfer we were back at the airport and the Hoppa Bus to the Holiday Inn.

We were upgraded to an executive room and after a quick bite of dinner, we hit the rack exhausted. At least Kelly was feeling better now.

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