Thursday, 20 May 2010

Pocket sized guide to London (Part 1)

Welcome to our perfectly formed, pocket-sized guide to London, first installment.

We had two days, one of which was to be spent at the Houses of Parliament on a Home Education workshop.

We'd booked a Travelodge in the Southwark area for Sunday night so decided on Saturday to visit the replica of The Golden Hinde in SE1, just along the Thames path. Fortunately I'd rung ahead and found out that the ship was booked pretty much all day for kids birthday parties. However the woman I spoke to (sonia) was wonderful and offered to squeeze us in inbetween the parties.

It's a replica of the original boat that Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the world in, and has itself been sailed on the same route. Now it is permanently docked in London as a museum.
I have to say that the crew must have all been dwarf-like because even though I'm only 5ft4 (ish), I was bent double in places on the ship!

(ds2, being his charming self)
(and taking a shine to the Captain's seat)
We continued along the Thames Path and came along this marvellous artistic creation, just inside a market/shopping parade. At various times the parts of the machine spouted or whooshed water, other parts spun or whirred and about every fifteen minutes the oars moved. It had two model 'sailors' (just about visible in the photos) and sort of fishy lips at the front. The kids particularly liked the bum hole at the back that gushed water!

(The entrance to the Shopping parade, looking out at the 'Gerkin')

Then we came across HMS Belfast, just before Tower Bridge. I think that'll be a trip for the boys some other time (with dh).

And just before Tower Bridge there was a whole herd of elephants, well, artwork elephants, each one different. Some were mosaic, mirrored, spotted...

And one had clear plastic bobbles on it, which when you looked inside...
...contained a miniature city of elephants, complete with miniature skyscrapers!
And the kids found some irresistably artistic water fountains!
Not forgetting, along the river, this window-cleaners' nightmare:
(but very impressive and photogenic)
And then on to Tower Bridge...

Across the bridge to The Tower of London:

With Traitors Gate, which is, er, a very important and famous and slightly wet gatey thing.

Here ended the pocket sized guide to London, part 1. More to follow.

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