Posted by: lindsaygoes | December 12, 2010

Exploring London with my mum

So, my mum decided to visit me this week. Even more averse to cold than I am, she’s arrived just after the UK’s earliest major snowfall since 1993. Basically, it’s pretty bloody cold out here. After last year, when everyone told me ‘This is the coldest winter we’ve had in ages.’ I was hoping for something warmer. But saying that, the snow is pretty. I’ve managed to catch a couple of snowflakes and see the gorgeous six pointed patterns (I always thought that might be one of those facts that is too amazing to be true), throw some snowballs, see some icicles, and tramp through the powdery stuff!

My big concern was that my mum would manage to make it all the way from Australia, but that I would be stuck, unable to get the train in. Luckily the closest station to me was open, and after plodding through the slush with my backpack (much easier than a wheely suitcase in these conditions, don’t you agree?), and freezing my little fingers off, I made it to the station and then had to wait about half an hour for a train. Which wouldn’t have been too bad, except that I had some random trying to ask me all sorts of personal questions. He didn’t seem to get the hint that I wasn’t asking anything back. One of the bonuses of the weather being so severe (that’s the excuse for train problems – severe weather) was that there were lots of available seats, and also some gorgeous snowy scenery. I also thought I saw the TARDIS capped with snow, but it could have just been another Police Call Box. Unfortunately it disappeared out of sight before I could get a photo.

Once I got to London, I amazingly left the tube station by the correct exit, walked in the right direction, and found the hotel, but then I couldn’t work out which button to push. I guess you can’t have everything. Being London, the room we’ve got is tiny, but at least it’s warm, and it has a bit of a kitchen, so my next stop was the supermarket, where someone collecting money for charity asked me if I had children, then said ‘But you’re trying?’ and then wanted my phone number, apparently because the winner got a date with them, but I think it was actually to get some money off me. So I lied and said I was just visiting, and not living here.

Mum eventually arrived and we headed out to a pub for an early dinner.

The next day we headed off reasonably early and went to the Tower of
London (which consists of twenty towers). To start with we joined one of the Yeoman Warder tours, which was lots of fun, and included some of the gory stories of some of the prisoners and executions which had taken place. After our tour we had a bit of an explore ourselves. Because of the weather the crowds were minimal, and it really wasn’t that cold. We got to see some of the tower rooms, crown jewels and armor.

After the Tower we went on a Jack the Ripper tour, so it was more gore, but again, quite fun. Someone tried to buy tickets for the tour off me, I should have taken their money! We ended up with someone on our tour who was wearing a top hat, long Victorian style jacket and some full on facial hair, so it was almost like Jack had decided to join the group.

Dinner was at the first restaurant we passed, as by that stage it was raining quite heavily, but was quite tasty.

Yesterday we hit some of the museums. We went to the Natural History museum first and saw lots of stuffed animals, some cool animatronic dinosaurs, and an interactive David Attenborough movie thing, which was really well presented. I’m sure everyone can work out exactly what I’m talking about from that last, very clear and descriptive sentence. Anyway, there was loads to see there, and once we were done we had lunch and then had a walk around Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park because, amazingly, the sun had come out. I think everyone else had the same idea because there were dogs and people everywhere. Then it was off to the Science Museum, for more educational adventures. And the gift shop.

Today we’re heading off to Berlin, for more winter travelling adventures.


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