For many first timers, the best to experience London would be to go on the hop on hop off bus. There are two major bus companies offering the service, the Original London Sightseeing Tour and the Big Bus Tour. It is the same as our hop on hop off here in KL. So, on friday morning, after getting clerance from Ibu's boss that she could skip the meeting that morning, we started to explore London after having our usual breakfast.
Friday morning was very wet and rainy but we went ahead with our plan. We took the underground to London Bridge station and walked towards the Tower Bridge passing by the London Dungeon. Dini wanted to go on the rides inside but it was still too early in the morning and we did not have that in our plan. Ibu prepared a comprehensive itinerary for our trip to London to make sure we can cover as much as possible. That's Ibu, she will do a thorough research on the place and plan for all the family trips! We actually bought an umbrella to keep us dry. After taking some shots at the Tower Bridge area and the Towers Castle, we took the Original London Sightseeing Tour bus and made our way to the Buckingham Palace. We were lucky that the Changing of Guards were on schedule despite the rain since we were told that it could be cancelled during heavy rain. Weather was getting better when we arrived but the area surrounding Buckingham Palace was so crowded with visitors and tourists waiting to witness the parade.
We squeezed ourselves among the crowds and managed to get a place close to the main gate where the soldiers would make their way. Ibu managed to capture wonderful photos of the whole ceremony and it was Ibu's first time watching the parade despite having been there many2 times.
Next, we took the bus and stopped at Trafalgar Square. We were there the night before and was excited to see a Malaysian restaurant, Jom Makan but was disappointed because they were about to close. So we decided that we must come back the next day to have lunch there and we did! We ordered nasi lemak, nasi goreng and daging masak merah. Kakak was happy since she has been starving for rice and spicy food for 3 days! We then went around Trafalgar Square and walked towards the Big Ben passing 10 Downing St and St James Palace just to snap some photos with the Horse Guard. We walked to the Big Ben, House of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and finally took the cruise back to Tower Bridge.
By then, we were already very tired of walking. We took the underground back to the hotel. We rest, prayed and had a quick bite before we resume our tour. Next we took the bus and went to Albert Hall passing the Kesington Garden. By then, it was almost dark and we decided to take the black taxi to the London Central Mosque at the Park Road. Abah reminded us that we should include in our itinerary visit to mosques and islamic centres just to see the Islamic Community in other part of the world. We performed our prayer there and look around the area. We then, took a bus back to the central and stopped at the Oxford Street. From there, we took this pedicab rickshaw just to experience the ride along the Oxford Street and stopped at the underground where we took the underground back to the hotel.
That was how we spent the whole day exploring London and we were quite satisfied to be able to cover so much in a day. Of course we wanted to go on the London Eye but time was not on our side. We shall save that for our next visit!