21.11.2007 - 23.11.2007 6 °C
Sorry that we have been lazy lately and neglected the blog for a few days. After a few days rest we have slowed down a bit.
Over the past three days (wed, thurs, fri) we have been using our London Passes which you buy and then it gets you free into lots of attractions, and if you do enough things you end up saving quite a bit of money. (Tuesday was just another relaxing day watching a DVD - Matt was going to play golf but it rained steadily all day!)
On Wednesday, we bought our train tickets into London (about $20 each for a return ticket, and this is for a 25 minute trip!) When we got in we bought Oyster cards, which are for using on the tube and saves a bit of money on buying tickets. But we just thinking about how much we are saving now by not having to pay for accommodation anymore.
It was then a bit of a run around (of course, nothing will ever o perfectly smoothly) to find where they would actually exchange the vouchers we had been sent after buying the Passes online in Australia before we left. Even though the instructions of the vouchers were to exchange at a certain place, apparently not...
The first place we visited was the Britian at War experience, which is a museum all about London during the war and in particular during the Blitz. There is a shelter you can sit in while various plane and bomb noises play around you and you can imagine how frightening it would have been sitting in there for real, when at any moment you thought a bomb could land right on you. There was also a recreation of a scene of what it would have been like during the blitz out in the street and in the underground. A great way to learn about it.
We had lunch with one of Matt's friends who we discovered happened to be travelling and in London at the same time as us. Then we visited the Sherlock Holmes Museum, where they have created his house on Baker St. That was interesting and well done, even though we haven't actually read any Sherlock Holmes stories.
Thursday we visited the London Aquarium, which was a bit dissappointing, and not worth the price. We have seen better ones in Melbourne and Perth. The London Eye is right by the aquarium, and we went on that too. It was £15 a ticket though and not included in the pass. Because its bt British Airways, they talk about it as if you're on a flight. It was good though, and it took about half an hour to go right around. The views were good and we had an a man on there who used to be a guard in front of Buckingham Palace who pointed out a few of the sights to us.
We then went to the Chelsea stadium for a guided tour around the complex. This included the press room, the change rooms, and going through the players tunnel. It was interesting even for me who can't claim to know anything about Chelsea football club.
We had a couple of hours before our train home so we decided to go to Saint Paul's Cathedral as well. Matt commented he liked Notre Dame better when we walked in, but I was impressed by the ceilings and the dome which is colourful, gold and sparkling. (Its difficult to describe it in a way that would do it justice I'm afraid.) You can climb up to the top of the dome here too. Jess stopped at the first of three levels on the way up, as that was quite high enough up a one way narrow staircase for her thankyou very much. Matt went right to the top, where you go outside the dome. You weren't allowed to take photos inside the church, but this is where the invention of camera phones come in handy! (To be emailed to the blog soon.)
Today we visited the zoo and it took up the whole day. It was quite a good zoo, with some interesting animals we hadn't seen before at Adelaide zoo. And most of the enclosures have a part where you can go inside and see the animals in the rooms inside. Which they need, as on a chilly day like today, most of the animals had taken refuge in the inside rooms. You get to see them quite close up this way too. It was only no good when we came to the walk through 'meet the monkeys' enclosure when normally you would be right among the monkeys, but they were all hiding in their beds. We were dissappointed also to find the elephants have been moved the animal park (a Monarto zoo type set up we assume). I suppose it is better for them though.
You never knew Flapper was so dangerous did you!
Off to visit some more of Matt's relatives over the weekend and then we're in Dublin from Monday to Wednesday. We'll try and not leave the blog too long!