From the first time I ever visited London (as an eight year old on our way to live in Bristol for a year) I've associated it with Monopoly. Loved the red streets, the green ones and the stations. This time it felt like we walked the whole board. We were staying just under St Paul's in the old city ... rumoured to have once been paved with gold. The church bells chimed all through my dreams.
Each day we walked along The Strand and Fleet St towards Trafalgar Square. The children failed to climb to the top of a lions head (just as I did) .. and they've killed all the pigeons (not my children - the city of London presumably) ...so we didn't have to dodge them this time.
We walked for miles, ate ridiculously overpriced ices and too many crisps. We went to the Tower of London, rode the eye, visited Harry Potter world, saw a stage show (Matilda) and fitted in a couple of museums and galleries. We got impossibly lost but found beauty, had zero shopping time (I fear that will be a theme of this trip!) and forgot to see Buckingham Palace.
It was noisy, dirty, chaotic, busy, romantic and wonderful. We'll have to go back some day.
1. a quick snap of St Paul's as we struggled (red bags and all) to find our accommodation on the first night. There were kind strangers who carried bags up the stairs at train stations and a lady who opened her cage again to give the kids food while she gave bus directions.
2. The Eye. Truly spectacular in form and function. We missed being on the one orange carriage by one!! We were very grateful to have "ski the queue tickets).
3. The Sun Tree. Spectacular glass sculpture by Chihuly in a random square somewhere on the way to Harrids (so lost).
4. Flowers at Liberty. Despite visiting all 5 floors at Hamleys I was not offered any shopping time...I got a quick browse while they are icecreams.
5. Looking down at the Tate Modern. I loved it. But couldn't help thinking how lucky we are to have MONA now...an equal to this fabulous place and it's art.