It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

New York : Gray Line Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Yeah, that's not us.

You know that I love a good hop-on hop-off bus tour to get the layout of a city.  I've written about them a few times on the blog:-

The weather was fab in NYC and we thought we'd try and cover more ground than we did in the Big Onion Walking Tours, so a hop-on hop-off bus was just the thing we needed.

As with most cities, you can buy the tickets at the bus stops, and NYC was no different.  The price of a 48 hour ticket is $US59/person, so it's not terribly cheap (there were cheaper bus tours with other companies).  I'm not going to lie to you, the first day was really disappointing.

The bus was absolutely JAMMED with people and we couldn't get up to the open top deck for ages.  The guide was working to the best of his abilities I guess, but he wasn't good.  English wasn't his first language, and it probably wasn't his second either, and you really do need good English to be a guide in an English speaking country.  In the end we plugged in our headphones and listened to the recorded guide instead.

Gray Line also "wrap" their buses in advertising, including the windows (can you flipping believe it!?!?), so all the windows are covered with advertising on the outside, and whilst the advertising is perforated, you don't see much through all the tiny holes.  It's an absolutely ridiculous idea, and if you have to sit downstairs due to rain or overcrowding, you're pretty much wasting your money.

The second day we had a much better guide as we headed into Harlem on the top deck in the sun.  He was young, cheery, knowledgeable and lots of fun.  We were on the bus with him for a few hours and his demeanour didn't slip, he was a professional.  He was very passionate about architecture, churches, and NYC in general - top notch.

There are other hop-on hop-off buses in NYC, and if you don't want to use Gray Line like we did, check to see if the other companies put advertising all over their windows before you buy a ticket.

Click HERE for the link to take you
to Gray Line's bus tour info.

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