Trip of a Lifetime – Piccadilly Run

Part 4

 

With suitcase delivered, all is well. We slept in a little, had some real max-and-relax time, and left the apartment to find some grub around noon. The highlights we wanted to hit on our last day here were the Kensington Museums and the shops at Piccadilly.

Breakfast was an egg mcmuffin and hash browns.

I’m kidding! Please!

Truth is, along the way to the Tower Bridge we found a breakfast/lunch spot that had only a few of their dozen tables taken. “The Watch House – Tower Bridge” makes everything fresh, and the chicken wrap was fabulous. While we ate, the lunch crowd arrived. We left as the place enjoyed standing room only patronage.

Afterwards, we walked over the Tower Bridge to where all the tour buses converged, found ours, and settled in.

The warmth of layered clothing made the ride so much better than the previous trip. Did I mention this is mid-October in London? Quite chilly. The light shirt worn yesterday did little to fight back the cold, but now, toasty warm, we sat on the upper level to enjoy all of the sights to come.

We reached the museum corner around three in the afternoon. We wanted to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum first. Then we’d check out the Science Museum, and with any luck, peek into the Natural History Museum.

Stop laughing. We tried.

So as it turns out, these places close around five or six, and you cannot just “peek in” if you have any real interest. It would take days and days to see it all. So, we saw what we could before they shut the V&A down, and then went back to the bus stop. Still, we did see some very cool, very interesting things. But trust us, get an earlier start if you want to see even one of these magnificent museums. You’ll notice we did not even tease with the idea of seeing The British Museum. We knew that could take a few days by itself.

We’d had enough of the windy cold. Settling into the lower level in the very back of the bus, we decided to ride straight to Tower Bridge and call it a night. We were travelling along at quit a good clip, when the driver pulled over and announced he was done for the day. He told us all to depart and the next bus should be along in about ten minutes to pick us up.

This was unexpected. We snatched up our backpack, coats, and scarves and made a beeline out of the bus. As it sped off, my husband’s eyes grew wide.

“My phone!”

The bus was out of sight by the time he’d finished his exclamation. He’d taken a couple of pictures on this ride, so we knew he did have it. I helped him search the backpack as he triple checked all of his pockets.

Yep. His phone was gone.

First, I called London Pass, which I’d bought online in the states. The purchase seemed like a good idea back then. I thought certain I’d get some help. Instead, I got the phone number for Golden Tours, the operators of their bus system. I called and spoke to Brad, who was sympathetic and attempted to help. Then the international phone call got ‘dropped’. I called again, briefly speaking with Nathan this time, who transferred me back to Brad. He said they were trying to reach the driver, and then the international phone call got dropped again. On the third attempt, a woman answered who told me to go to stop number seven, where the driver would meet us within an hour and a half. The way it was stated, I was under the impression the phone had been found, and he was delivering it to us.

You may not know where stop number seven is. Well, neither did we. After a quick check, we discovered we needed to be about 15 blocks from where we were. Hence, the ‘hour and a half’ meet up time.

After a twenty minute jog, taking us through the incredibly crowded Piccadilly Square, we reached stop number seven, across the street from the Hard Rock Café, London. But there was no bus. We waited. And waited. Then two Golden Tour buses arrived at stop number seven. Neither of them were our driver. Neither had a clue what we were talking about.

Exhausted and frustrated, I asked one of the drivers if they were heading to the Tower Bridge, which is about five miles away. We needed a lift back from where Golden Tours left us before sending us on this wild goose chase.

Nope. They were shut down and not taking passengers.

WHY did we buy the London Pass?

I called Golden Tours again, and guess what? They were about to close, and couldn’t help us. We were advised to call back tomorrow, around 9:30, and check if the lost and found located a phone.

The problem with that is, we have tickets for a train that leaves at noon tomorrow, in order to get us to our plane that leaves at three. Nine-thirty is cutting it a little too close.

It’s always an adventure.

We hailed a cab and paid almost thirty pounds to reach the Tower Bridge. (WHY did we buy the London Pass?) Both hungry and more than slightly agitated, we decided to indulge ourselves. LePont de la Tour restaurant accepted our exhausted, jean clad, sneaker wearing selves into their fine dining establishment. We were treated like royalty. The food, wine, and superior service were just what we needed to wash away the frustrations of the day.

I don’t know if we’ll ever see his phone again. But, even after all of this hassle, we will definitely be seeing London again.

Probably not with a London Pass, though.

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