Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bus tours, rock'n'roll and the Apollo

There are a stack of bus tours that go around London; I chose the 'Original Tour' - and, from its menu, the 'original tour', which is all the major sites around the city: Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London etc - and went for a ride. The first part of it was great; we had an actual live person talking, and he was very entertaining as we went around.

You can check out the details of where this took me here - I've far too little time to describe them all!

It turned out that I'd gotten on this bus at a good time to wind up in the right spot for the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Although I hadn't included that on my must-see list, it seemed like a sensible thing to do while it was convenient to do so. I got off the bus and made my way along to join the crowds of people outside the gates. We waited a while before it all got started, but once it did it was quite impressive. Here are some pictures:

Don't ask me any specifics regarding which regiment etc. the different uniforms represent; I've got no idea.

Anyway, after that - I got closer to the gates as I was heading back to the bus stop; the band were playing the theme song to Game of Thrones, which was both hilarious and awesome - I got back on the bus and continued the tour.

I got off the bus again not far from where I'd begun the tour because the same company also run walking tours, and I'd read that they had one that went around and pointed out sites important to London musical history. Of course I found that interesting, so I went along.

We went to a bunch of places in Mayfair and Soho (including the famous Carnaby Street) with significance for The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Sex Pistols, Queen, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and a whole stack of others. Moar pictures!

3 Savile Row - where The Beatles played the rooftop.

Trident Studios - the picture is of a list of songs/albums recorded there. It's pretty stunning, and includes Lou Reed's Transformer, a stack of Beatles, Elton John, David Bowie and Genesis albums, and - probably most impressive - Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

 De Lane Lea studio - Queen recorded their debut self-titled album there and at the aforementioned Trident.

7 Denmark Street, where the Sex Pistols lived and recorded their first album.

After that tour I jumped back on the tour bus and went for some more sightseeing; this took me down and around the area known as the City of London (as distinct from London the region; it gets a bit confusing at times, but as you can imagine, they're all very big on tradition here) that includes St Paul's Cathedral, the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge, as well as the Southwark region where the Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre are - I'll be talking more about those in a future post.

I think I went back to the hotel after that; I can't remember exactly. Either way I ended up in the Chinatown section of the West End, where I met up with Ele and we found a great little all-you-can-eat Chinese place (Mr Wu's, I think) and had ourselves some food before wandering over to the Apollo Theatre.

Tonight's show was a curious one - Let the Right One In, a stage adaptation of the Swedish novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist. I'll save an indepth description for my review post, but I will say it was very impressive on a whole bunch of levels.

And then it was back to the hotel for bed.

No comments:

Post a Comment