our big trip - day 5: London

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Warning: this is a loooong post with lots of photos! We walked for twelve solid hours on this day of days, packed with sunshine and so much to see. Because of the heft of the photos, wordage will be minimal.

A gorgeous, sunny, crisp morning - the only sunny day we would have in London, so we were up and out early from our Pimlico apartment, heading south to the Thames and back up along Millbank towards the Houses of Parliament - our fave walk.

I have a Thing for balloons, and this was not the only stray, airy bauble we found on our journey - this one Royal Purple.

So wonderful to see the river, the London Eye and Westminster in glorious sunshine. I love a good overcast London day, when reds and greens pop, but with sunshine, the colours are just different.

The magnificent tower housing Big Ben. We even got to hear it chime 10.

We didn't do the London Eye. It's very, very expensive. It's also very, very slow. We had much more fun on the boat to Greenwich.

Alas, we didn't have the time and wherewithal to go to the Globe Theatre. My good friend Shakespeare will never forgive me. Next time.

And here comes HMS Belfast. My adorable husband has an association with that part of the world, so it was v special. {Footnote: that is not my husband in the photo, although I'm sure that man is v nice.}

One of my personal fave bridges in the world. This bridge truly makes you feel like you're in London - Tower Bridge. Riley loved it.

The Tower of London - it was a bit fun telling the kids all the sordid details of yore!

Arriving at Greenwich - I love this place. So achingly historical, beautiful, character-drenched. I wanted to sing a sea shanty and maybe even do a little jig. I said maybe.

Walking up to the Observatory and the infamous Greenwich mean time line. The kids were so excited to straddle two hemispheres.

The view from the Observatory back to Canary Wharf.

Alas, alack - the gates to The Line were closed and would not open for another 40 minutes!! Dratted winter holidays. And we couldn't wait because we wanted to get the boat back before lunch time. You can see The Line in this shot {below left} and also a little friend we made near the gate.

Wandering the streets of Greenwich, hunting down some lunch for the boat ride back to Tower Bridge.

Back on the Thames river boat - fabulous lunch from Costa, and of course, the ubiquitous Bakewell tart.

We alighted from the boat at Tower Bridge and walked around the Tower of London. Our week in the capital was during one of the busiest weeks of the year, as tourists and bargain shoppers from all over the world flock the city's streets. I had never seen London so busy.

We walked from the Tower of London to St Paul's Cathedral, along Cannon Street towards Fleet Street.

We then took the Tube to Oxford Street and walked through Hyde Park from Marble Arch, south to Hyde Park Corner where the Royal Neighourhood really begins.

This dude was dancing up a storm, with his ghetto blaster pumping.

They had an amazing Winter Wonderland market set up near Hyde Park Corner but the kids were seriously exhausted by then, so we kept going towards Buckingham Palace.

Heading south, we walked down Constitution Hill towards the palace - people everywhere!

And I just loved these two sunny girls riding towards us, riding their bikes - they were so gorgeous. How I wish I could find them and give them a copy of this photo.

Buck Palace.

Queen Vic.

Meandering away from the palace, down The Mall, towards Admiralty Arch and Trafalgar Square.

Admiralty Arch.

Trafalgar Square. By this time, the kids could hardly walk so we stopped for dinner.

Wanting to do something on our backsides! we headed to nearby Leicester Square {my old haunt} in search of a screening of The Hobbit. No shows until 9pm, so off we went again, only to be lured into Lilywhites by my sports-mad son.

By 8pm, enough was enough, so we refuelled with drinks and a game of cards at The Swan.

Before heading back to Pimlico, Ella decided she simply HAD to have a horse she saw in Hamley's Toy Store on Regent Street. Being relatively nearby, Husband took her to round up that horse while Riley and I bought out Cool Britannia {below left}. This is truly the COOLEST tourist shop. I bought some really delicious things, especially my Mr Bean teddy bear. MY bear.

That is all.

our big trip - days 1 + 2: Melbourne
our big trip - day 3: Flying to Europe
our big trip - day 4: London
our big trip - day 6: London
our big trip - day 7: London
our big trip - day 8: London
our big trip - day 9: Leyland
our big trip - day 10: London
our big trip - day 11: Paris
our big trip - day 12: Paris
our big trip - day 13: Paris
our big trip - day 14: Bruges
our big trip - day 15: Bruges 
our big trip - day 16: Bruges and The Hague
our big trip - day 17: The Hague
our big trip - day 18: Amsterdam
our big trip - day 19: Amsterdam
our big trip - day 20: The Hague
our big trip - days 21 + 22: Brussels
Two days lost with travel and travelling east
our big trip - days 25 + 26: Bangkok
our big trip - day 27: Kanchanaburi
our big trip - days 28 - 32: Cha Am Resort
our big trip - day 33: Hua Hin
our big trip - days 34 + 35: Coming Home


Dani said...

That is all???? That is awesome!

deb@thegullsnest said...

That is all??? Noooo!!!

More, more!! So great of you to share your journey. Love London. Love family travel tales. What a feat. Can't wait for the next installment. Deb xx

Tania McCartney said...

Aw, lovely gals - you are so sweet! Next installment tomorrow!

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