Thursday, 5 May 2011

Around and About in London

On Sunday morning we awoke at the Marriott County Hall and this is the view that we had from our room of the London Eye and the River Thames. I shall never tire of weekends away in this wonderful city!

After we had breakfasted we made off to the Natural History Museum. It was very hot and the world and his brother seemed to have descended on the place. We queued for 45 minutes to get in and then when we got in, we wished we hadn't. The place was absolutely packed to the rafters.
We went to the Dinosaur Section where you had to literally walk along at the pace of the person in front otherwise you would be shunted by the person behind. There was no time to look at the exhibits at all.
You literally had seconds to look before you were moved on. Not an enjoyable experience at all!

We went to the Bird Section. It was the same story - mass crowds thinking that the best way to see something was to push the person in front! It was almost mass hysteria! Slight exaggeration here but I'm sure you get the picture of what it was like.
We saw the above - the now extinct DoDo. It very much reminded me of the Dodo in "Alice in Wonderland" and the Caucus Race where all the creatures have a race but they can start and finish whenever they want to - so they all win! No wonder they became extinct with brains like that!

I wonder who's ruffled his feathers!

The pushing and shoving in the end just got too much for us and we decided to have an early lunch at the Museum before heading towards Buckingham Palace and St. James' Park. Far better to be outside than in on a fabulous sunny day!
The food was nothing special and a tad expensive for what it was - taking advantage of the fact that they had a captive audience. Just before we left however we spotted a cheaper cafe but by then it was too late as we had already eaten!

We left for Buckingham Palace. The weather was gloriously warm. To the right of this picture the commentary boxes for the Royal Wedding had been put up. There were many foreign journalists doing pieces to camera.

Some of the flags had been put up in anticipation of the Royal Wedding in a few days time.

We made our way from the Palace to St. James' Park. We saw some squirrels. Not as many as we had seen when in London previously. With the weather being warmer the squirrels weren't as greedy and weren't out in large numbers.

A friendly man gave Our Daughter a nut to give to the squirrel. When the squirrel tried to make a grab for it Our Daughter moved her hand higher, scared that the squirrel might scratch her!
The squirrel was not going to give up on the nut - it reminded me of the squirrel in Ice Age 2. In this escapade though the squirrel got his own way and made off with the nut which he then proceeded to bury! We will never know therefore if the squirrel got to keep the nut or whether he lost it again as in Ice Age 2!

This cheeky squirrel made sure that no-one else was going to get the nut!
After watching the squirrels eating and burying nuts we sat on the grass whiling away the time.
Sometimes it is just nice to sit and not do much at all.

After an hour or so we got up and walked through the Park to Horse Guards Parade.

Near the exit to St. James' Park we came across this little cottage which I had not spotted before.

We made our way down Horse Guards Road and passed the statue of Clive of India. Clive is credited with securing India for the British Crown in the 1700's. He died by committing suicide - he stabbed himself with his penknife!

As we were making our way back towards Westminster and to the hotel we could hear the sound of a loud ghettoblaster and then we saw some policemen. We wondered what was going on. We saw that the traffic had come to a standstill and then we heard a whistle. As if out of nowhere all these roller-skaters appeared and made their way around Parliament Square - some were dressed up and some had bunny ears. It was some kind of fun-run on blades I guess.

And as quickly as the race had started it was over!

It was still fairly early so we made our way towards Victoria Embankment.  

We saw Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. This photo should have been placed before the one of the London Eye - I'm a bit tired and got them mixed up when I was downloading them onto this post - Oops, sorry!
Saturday had been very busy for us and if you have read my previous posts you will understand why I said that. So a short while after these photos were taken we headed back to the hotel where we stayed until morning!
After breakfast the following morning we headed for Westminster Abbey. We were intent on seeing the Abbey before The Royal Wedding. When we got there we were disappointed as again large queues had formed outside and it was £16 each to get in!
Having experienced the pushing and shoving at the Natural History Museum we agreed that the best thing to do was to come back and see the Abbey some time in the future when it is less likely to be as busy.
More on that in a later post.

Until next time.


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