our big trip - day 6: London

Saturday, 23 February 2013

A slightly slower paced day {we needed it!} - the sunshine had gone but the delights of London still beckoned.

Totally phased by that massive queue at the National History Museum from our first day in the capital, I got online and booked tickets to see the Dinosaur exhibit. Don't bother - the tickets don't get you in any faster. We still had to queue at the museum entry along with everyone else. I just advise to get there 20 mins before opening - or don't go during school holidays.

Nevertheless, the wait was worth it. The boys took off to do Dinosaur heaven while Ella and I hotfooted it to the mammals {queue: horse obsession}, which also happens to be my favourite part of the museum.

We also checked out the Darwin area, which was utterly fascinating, though definitely for older children.

The building itself is truly magnificent - vistas at every turn.

This whale/dolphin display hasn't really changed since I lived in London in the mid-'90s. I love love love it.

And I am totally obsessed with this giant turtle near the cafe.

English breakfast tea at the cafe - of course.

It's worth going into the museum just to ogle the architecture alone.

And don't even start me on the toilets. So beautiful . . .

After our NHM experience, it was lollipops all round, and a meander up Crompton Road . . .

. . . past the glorious Victoria and Albert museum . . .

. . . and up Brompton Road for a spot of lunch at Pret a Manger.

You can see {above} the gorgeous coppery facade of Harrods. I was wolfing down lunch so we could dash inside. Even the kids loved it.

After a mega shopping fix {my favourite part is the Harrods shop}, we took the Tube and then the overland train to Hackney Central to see our very first pantomime - Dick Whittington and His Cat. The panto was held at the Hackney Empire, which is considered to be the granddaddy theatre of London pantos.

What a show! Not only is the theatre in itself stunning, but the production was absolutely brilliant.

We booked tickets online through the website and simply collected the tix at the door. Husband was most reluctant and Riley was a little iffy but both sat with absolute wonder at the entire production, joining in the good old "behind you! behind you!". I just cried tears of joy - it was the funniest, brightest, loudest most interactive and great fun show I've seen in a very long time, and Steve Elias as Sarah, Dick's mum, was pure genius. Yes, even husband loved it.

HIGHLY recommend seeing a pantomime if you're travelling to London around the Christmas period.

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 5: 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

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