Saturday, 16 October 2010

First full day in London - Tuesday, 12th October 2010

So here it comes in excruciating detail.

You have been warned.

After a terrible night (me - the others all slept like logs) because it was too hot, too loud and it was a strange bed, it was time to hit the streets runnning. The shower was cold which certainly woke us up, but we soon warmed up with the YHA continental breakfast (juice, yoghurt, pain au chocolat, piece of fruit and coffee or tea for two of your English quids and 95 of those pesky pence).

I'd been texting with my friend L during the morning and as she was going to bring along her five-year-old D, we decided to meet at the Natural History Museum, which is within walking distance of our hostel. The streets between Earls Court and Kensington are quiet and leafy the houses beautiful. At that time of day the "ooh"-ing and "aahhh"-ing from the Gruesomes was at maximum due to all the children on their way to school. We passed an interesting looking bookshop (new and second hand) and as we were early sat for a while at a Paul pattisserie for coffee (ouch! It was too soon after breakfast for a pastry, thank goodness, or we'd have blown our food budget for the week!)

We arrived at the museum just before opening time and joined the queue. L and D would be there about 10:30 so we decided to meet up inside. The queue moves slowly because everyone has to have their bag checked due to the heightened terror alert. #2 was getting a bit worried as sharp objects are banned and I always have a (very tiny) Swiss Army knife on me. However that isn't usually an issue and before long we'd met up with our friend and were heading off to look at dinosaurs.

Quote of the day.

Chef: So, D, how come you know so much about dinosaurs?
D: I'm five.


After that we looked at the Blue Whale which really is impressive in itself, let alone for demonstrating just how big those beasts are. Then we had a quick sandwich in the overpriced café (sitting near Chi Chi the panda who I remember seeing when she lived at Regent's Park Zoo) and went over the road to the Victoria & Albert museum to look at the small clothing exhibit. One thing stood out: a pearl encrusted outfit which was made for Diana, Princess of Wales. She was really very very slim, something I really hadn't appreciated from the photos I've seen of her.

Looking at clothes isn't really very exciting for a 5 year old of either gender, so we left the museum and walked to Kensington Gardens and had a nice long play in the Diana Memorial Playground. Actually, the grown-ups just yakked their heads off while the Gruesomes entertained D all afternoon. It started to get cold - I haven't mentioned that on Monday and Tuesday the weather was cold but sunny with beautiful blue skies.

It was time to forage for food which isn't as easy as it sounds. Poor D had a sore leg and was tired, and limping, so we went to the nearest tube station and searched around in the location of the London Eye for something to eat. It had to suit a five-year-old, a 12-year-old vegetarian and a small budget. No chance by the eye, so we went over the river again and found an Italian restaurant that looked a lot better than it was.

After that it was time to leave. D fell asleep on the table and it was difficult to wake him so Chef carried him until it was time for L to take him home at Victoria. We toodled on back to Earls Court in the hope of a better night's sleep (for me) and hot water in the shower (all of us).


Magwitch said...

I'm enjoying this...

Sho said...

glad to hear it - I always worry that it's all far too wordy!