We marveled at how quiet and compact London is for the tourist. Then we tried the Tube for a short journey with a connection and walked, and walked, and walked, only to find the line was closed for the weekend and then walked some more. Nearly every metro system I encounter in the world makes me appreciate Hong Kong’s brilliant connections all the more.
The Tube worked great coming in from Heathrow on the Picadilly line, luckily no transfer needed to reach our hotel. Once based in the city it should have only taken one trip to swear off the Tube for short trips but it took two for us to learn our lesson. Transfers among simple 2-line stations in London dwarf even some of Paris’ epic multi-line station transfers. If we are going to walk that much it might as well be outside enjoying the view than in narrow passages.
London bus stops have various line maps and references that make getting about a breeze, easily the best transport signage I have countered anywhere. And there are so many lines passing through the center that even on a Sunday night there were choices every few minutes. Several locals noticed me taking a picture of the arrivals board and I said it is unimaginable that New York on a Sunday would have frequent buses, and even more so to think there could be displays with accurate arrival times. One started telling of the time she visited friends in the Bronx…
Buses are cheaper than the Tube. Unfortunately there are no free transfers among buses or between Tube and bus, each time you get on a new conveyance you pay again, though there are daily caps on Oyster cards to contain the financial hit.