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London, England

First stop was the West End where we saw that they are doing Mamma Mia. We returned later in the day to buy tickets for tomorrow so we are really looking forward to that. We can see that it's a gorgeous theatre, just from going in there to book the tickets.

After travelling over Tower Bridge, we jumped off the bus at the Tower of London. Matt thought it was Buckingham Palace. It's huge! We walked around it as we headed down to the River Thames and hopped on our river cruise.

We took a cruise up the River Thames on the boat in this picture. One of the crew gave a commentary which was really good. To be able to work on a boat like this and carry passengers, you need to serve an apprenticeship. This was mentioned several times during his commentary. The River Thames is tidal, and when we went past the bridges we could see the water rushing past very fast. So, it's fresh and salt water and has over 100 species of fish. London's rubbish is loaded onto barges and towed down the river. The guide told us this but I already knew it from an episode of Project Runway where they had to make clothes from items found on a rubbish barge on the Thames.

Next, we hopped on the double decker open top bus and looked at St Paul's Cathedral.

We travelled around Hyde Park which is gorgeous, across to Paddington Station and then continued around Hyde Park to the Marble Arch. In Hyde Park, opposite the Marble Arch, is Speakers Corner where anybody can sprout their views and opinions. Heckling and debating with the speaker is encouraged and is apparently quite entertaining.

We continued on to Harrods, and had a nice wander through there.

The next day we went for a walk around the shops which are near our hotel and walked through Euston Station. It is very busy, with most people pulling luggage along behind them.

Just after lunch we headed off to the West End to see Mamma Mia. We jumped on the bus which should have taken us there but there's a big bike race on in London so it took us somewhere completely different. When we explained to the driver that we expected that he would take us to the bus stops on the route, he seemed confused (but there's a bike ride on). So, we tried waving down several taxis but nobody wanted to take us to the theatre because...there's a bike ride on. Finally this guy came along with his bike and said he'd take us. Matt said "ok, we've got tickets to Mamma Mia can you get us there?" and he said it would be fine, he could take a short cut if we wanted him to hurry. Well, we are still alive! We went down the wrong side of the road, down lane ways, down some malls which even had bollards to stop bikes but he rode to the right and then hard left and made it between them. All the while he was ringing his bell and whistling for people to get out of the way. At lights he pulled in front of buses and then drove through red lights ringing his bell to tell the pedestrians to get out of his way. As we were riding down a mall and people jumped out of the way, one waitress who was serving people in the mall yelled at him and hit the roof of the bike trailer. He said to us "she's doing her job and I'm doing mine" So....we got to the theatre on time thanks to our bike rider. We were very grateful.

Amazing show, amazing! We danced and clapped until my hands were sore. It was a wonderful show that made you want to get up and dance with them, and so we all did at the end. The whole theatre was on its feet singing and dancing. So much fun!

The theatre is absolutely stunning. Over the top gold and paintings but just gorgeous (not a style I'd choose for home). We couldn't get over how beautiful it is. After the show, we walked to the orchestra pit to thank them for an amazing show and the musical director asked where we were from...he was from Perth and we had a bit of a chat to him before heading off. He was really nice and said often people were surprised they had an orchestral pit and usually just think it's all pre-recorded.

We caught a London Cab home. Decided to go with safety.


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