At the end of May there was a second Bank Holiday weekend. We made plans and set off for London-town right after school on Friday afternoon. The train trip took about 1.5 hours from Birmingham and besides having to find the right platform, was an exceptionally easy and relaxing trip. We packed ourselves a light dinner, some books, sat back and took in the English countryside.
We stayed at a simple and central hotel, close to a train station. Super easy to get up and out in the morning and start exploring! On Saturday we headed to Picadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. The weather came and went during the day but the morning was gorgeous. It was a lovely quiet morning and we strolled from the Circus down to the Square. The fountains, the buildings... so lovely in the sunshine and a wonderful way to start our trip.
Next up was the London Zoo. The girls quite enjoyed it, so did we, and it was amazing seeing gorillas there. It is a lovely lovely place, though personally, it's not a patch on the Auckland Zoo that we frequented once a week for almost two years.
We headed off to Westminster Abbey next. Exiting the tube after arriving at the Westminster station, and walking into the street, you are met with Big Ben. A was speechless, she couldn't believe she was seeing it - for real! After a lovely lunch, we skipped the super long line to get into the Abbey with pre-booked online tickets - phew! No photo's allowed inside the Abbey, but to say it is breathtaking is an understatement. It is almost painful in it's beauty and history. Everywhere you look inside is amazing and rich with history and detail. So much detail. Mind-blowing to think of all the time, people, hours, and history in there. Stunning, just, stunning.
The girls know all about Coronations now thanks to Frozen, so got a kick out of seeing the strangely ancient looking chair that is used for the occasion. And then the chapel... amazing architecture and centuries old wall murals... Wow.
A short stroll afterwards got us at the London Eye. And we were going up! The two older girls and I were so excited... The other two in our party... not so keen on heights but came along for the ride :) L is mainly just going through a phase so it didn't take her long to start peering out the windows. Although a little grey at the time, it was still spectacular. Views and sights for ages. We had a great time spotting and identifying different landmarks. H who had been hanging out to go since first spotting a "wheel" in Liverpool, was thrilled to bits about this experience.
Such a great first day in London. London!!