I did one of my favourite things this weekend and rode the bus around London in what I call the ‘tourist seats’. These are the top front seats on the London double decker buses (no neither of those people in the picture are me). I highly recommend grabbing one of these seats (and hanging on tight) should you be visiting London anytime soon. The seats give you the best view of London and are great fun. Mainly because most of the bus drivers drive like Otto Mann (from the Simpsons) on speed but for some reason you have this (false) sense of secuirty being in this big red tank zooming through the streets. Before you know it, you will be letting out a little ‘wheee’ when taking a corner at mock 10, on 2 wheels, aiming for an old lady/pram/tourist.
The other neat thing is that because the bus doesn’t have a proper front like a car or school bus you get this really strange sense that you are going to drive right into things in front of you. Its hard to get used to the fact that there is no engine in front so you can pull up within 3 inches of cars or other buses (sometimes 1 inch). Its even better when you have a ‘late on the brakes’ driver that seems to be accelerating until they hit the 6 inch distance then slam on the brakes just in time…good times (and the faces of the true tourists in the tourist seats when this happens for the first time probably makes for amazing CCTV footage).
Besides feeling like you are on an inner city amusement park ride it can also prove to be a fairly useful journey as if you grab bus number 23 you can pass some of the key sites including St Pauls, Regent Street, Oxford Circus and Trafalger Square….all for £2 (or 90p if you get an oyster but that’s a tourist tip for another day). Anyway even if you aren’t a tourist I highly recommend nabbing these seats to not only for the fun of clinging on for dear life but to remind you what a great city London really is. I think sometimes after riding the tube at 2 layers above hell you can forget what a pretty spectacular places London really is (and before you all write, yes it can be dirty, stinky and crowded at times but you are immune to that when you sit in the tourist seats…try it if you don’t believe me).