Today was our first morning away from being involved with a group tour, this morning we woke up early to get ready and spend a whole day seeing some of the sights of ye ol London Town. Before we left we said our goodbyes to some of the remaining people staying at the Clink 78 Hostel from our Topdeck Mega European Tour and then ventured out to see some of the sights. Tonight we are catching an overnight sleeper train to Edinburgh to join up with a three day Haggis Adventures tour of Scotland.
18 June, 2012 – London to Edinburgh
Tonight we are heading up north to Scotland and its capital city of Edinburgh, we are travelling overnight on the Caledonian Sleeper Train which leaves London’s Euston Station at roughly 11:00pm and gets us into Edinburgh’s Waverley Station at 7:00am. On arrival tomorrow we will head off on our next tour, the three day Haggis Adventures Sky High Tour, but more on that tomorrow.
Today before our train departs we have a whole day to explore London further and see some of the sites we didn’t check out last time we were here. We packed up all our belongings and left them in the luggage storage room at the Clink 78 Hostel so we wouldn’t have to lug it all around with us. The first thing we did was to walk up to Euston Station to store my bag of things I bought along the trip so I wouldn’t have to take it to Scotland with me.
We then caught the tube and headed towards the River Thames with our first goal being to go on the London Eye. It was a really nice and clear day so it was the perfect conditions to see London from the Eye. As we were pretty early the line was relatively short, when we were here over a month and a half ago (really that long ago?) walking past in the afternoon the lines were massive, so make a point of getting here early.
It takes about half an hour to do a full circuit around the Eye, you have the opportunity to get some impressive shots from this vantage point, most notably the Houses of Parliament. It is defiantly worth going for the trip, it puts the shonky Melbourne Southern Star Observation Wheel to shame if they ever finish rebuilding it.
Next we caught the tube again and then walked over the Tower Bridge once again as we were heading for the Tower of London. As the London Olympics are only a month away the city has started to transform into Olympic mode since we were last here, the Olympic Rings have now been placed on the Tower Bridge, the annoying thing is that they were not lowered until two days after we left for home a week later.
We made it to the Tower of London and waited by the entrance for one of the tours to begin. The tours are conducted by what are called Beefeater’s, they live and work within the Tower of London and it is a very prestigious role to hold. These guides are really knowledgable and enthusiastic and make the experience a whole lot better rather than just wondering around on your own. If you visit make sure to join one of these tours, it won’t disappoint and you can still wonder the grounds on your own after.
After a long day of sightseeing and still a couple of hours until our train departed, we grabbed a drink and sat by the river only to see the Tower Bridge opening, I was pretty impressed as you don’t get to see it open very often. We then walked along the river and crossed London Bridge before catching the tube to Green Park where my friend was exhausted and laid in the park while I went for a walk to go and check our Buckingham Palace up close, last time we saw it was from a distance while on the bike tour.
We then caught the tube back to Kings Cross St Pancras and walked back to the Clink 78 Hostel to pick up all our luggage. Stupidly my luggage didn’t have wheels so I then had to carry my main bag which weighed a tone and a backpack, luckily I stored my other bag of stuff I bought earlier at Euston Station so I also didn’t have to lug that up the road also.
We still had a few hours to wait at the station so we just waited in the waiting room within the station and at about 10:30pm we went to board our train and were asked if we wanted coffee or tea on arrival in the morning. We found our room and basically went to sleep before the train departed, collapsing from exhaustion. All of the walking around London today and the entire 49 day tour had just hit us and now for the first time we could take it easy knowing we would be at our next destination in the morning.