The Original Tour

After breakfast we headed to the Baker Street tube station, located at the junction of Baker Street and Marylebone Road. Some of you may know Baker Street from the Sherlock Holmes novels (Holmes lived at 221B Baker Street), and others may know it for being the world’s first underground railway station (built in 1863). Either way, the Baker Street station is a busy place.

Our reason for heading to Baker Street was the Original Tour of London. The Original Tour can be found worldwide (Calgary had one for a short while) and is known for their characteristic double-decker buses, and “hop on and off” whenever you choose mentality; this allows you to tour cities at your own pace, you just need to know the pick-up points.

Getting there wasn’t much of a challenge because I think we are starting to get the hang of the tube. The network is really befuddling unless you have a map, know which way is north / south / east west, know your route (sometimes there are different stops even though the same tracks are used), and know your destination, it’s pretty easy to get onto the wrong train or get turned around. Today’s route: Camden Town to King’s Cross (platform nine and 3/4) and King’s Cross to Baker Street.

With the Original Tour there are five different routes you can take: the Red Line, Yellow Line, Green Line, Purple Line, and the Blue Line. Each line covers different sights and corners of the city. Unfortunately for us, there’s a taxi strike in the London core and traffic was deliberately stopped at the end of our tour so we couldn’t get back to Baker Street on the bus.

We started at Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum, where we plugged in our little ear phones and listened to the history of London. After a “hop on and off” we got back onto a bus who had a live guide — a stand-up comedian at that. He added a whole new dimension to the tour and told stories of London that weren’t on the tapes. We liked him so much that we did the tour two times to hear his show.

Next up: Chinatown, Soho, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square (pronounced Lester Square).

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