Ok, so we hightailed it over the Channel, or should I say ‘under’, via the Eurostar, for a whirlwind introduction to London for the boys. We seriously whooped it up in our 5 days there and did everything a good London tourist would do….
There was plenty to sing about!
It was just after Christmas, so everything was Christmas pretty. This was the window of our apartment in South Kensington.
I have received quite a few questions via email about how I planned this trip. I basically booked and planned the whole thing in 2 days much to the delight of the travel agent who booked our flights! I based my entire scheming around what people say about everything on Trip Advisor. If anything got a bad rap anywhere, I steered clear of it … hotels, transport, tourist attractions. I found our London apartment via Trip Advisor and booked it through Expedia. It pays to compare prices. There was not a bad word said about the place, on Trip Advisor, and I can not say a bad word about it! For me, having lived in London in a 4 share BEDROOM in a 3 bed dump in St Johns Wood (yeah 10 people), and then a seriously depressing hospital VMO quarters in Northwood …. this was LUXURY!!!! I danced through the apartment, saying, “boys, this is so not real London living, you have no idea how depressing London is when you have no money to do anything”. I truly believe you have not experienced poor backpacker London unless you have had to make the decision, ‘will I eat tonight, or will I have this beer?’
First thing we did, when we got off the train, was make a bee-line to a pub!
When in London.
It was cold and the pub was warm. Perfect.
Bangers and mash and all that.
Kensington Park/Hyde Park was right at the end of our street so we went searching for squirrels in winter.
Bucket list for youngest. He was determined.
He even came down to accept his blueberry gift.
Ok, so Hyde Park just so happened to have the ‘Christmas Winter Wonderland’ amusement park still set up and we stumbled upon it at opening time when there was NO-ONE around! My youngest seriously embraced the roller coasters and dragged his compliant big brother onto everything.
Except this. No way any of the rest of us were getting on this. So the attendants started up the ride just for my little tacker. He was the only pair of screaming legs on the ride. I had to walk away. What if he was petrified and couldn’t get off? How could I save him? My heart!
I fell into the ‘whimp’ category …. for many reasons … too whimpy to even watch my baby ride it.
I shouldn’t have worried. This was the result.
So we did the tube thing …
… and seriously wandered.
Experienced the magic of Hamleys Toy Store …
… sampled many a hot chocolate…
… and MANY gastronomical delights!
Still kept up the cheese intake.
Savoured the Natural History Museum …
… while I savoured the building!!!
By the time we left, the dinosaurs queue was 3 hours long. Pays to get up with the sparrows!
Saw lots of ‘British-y’ stuff … although my eldest noted that in the whole time we were there he never heard a British accent.
Explored the local neighbourhood…
Did the gruesome ‘Jack The Ripper’ walking tour late one night, in the East End ….. in the cold and the gentle rain .. making it even spookier!
And learnt heaps about the gory days of body snatching (all in the name of improving surgical techniques back in the 19th century…. we owe those early surgeons so much! ) at the ‘Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men’ exhibition, at The Museum Of London.
One cheap British Airways flight to Geneva (the whole damn place was cheap…. how things have changed in 20 years!) and we were off on the next leg of our adventure …
Reduced to four quid at the end of the day! At the airport!!!! I rest my case.
Over the Alps! …
… and straight on to a streamlined, immaculate, on time, Swiss train to Montreux, on Lake Geneva.
Next stop? … Switzerland, in all her snowy glory!