Saturday, 15 February 2014

A Capital Idea

london eye ride experience attraction tourist tapIt started promisingly when Jof gave us a lift to the station. The first drawback was immediate when the train announcement board said sorry we have no trains but we've got you a bus instead.
The vintage double-decker bus was green, elderly and aromatic and the front seats on the top deck were already taken.
At Havant they said we have no trains either because of a landslip at Liphook and many fallen trees on the line. The tannoy announcer kept extending the delay time 39-42-47-52 minutes and we finally set off 20 minutes before we were supposed to arrive. We played hangman. Words used: Transformer. What are you. Proffesor Max. Lego Minifigures. Dead ant. Super pigs rule the world.
The phone wouldn't send texts even when we stood on the platform pointing it at a cellphone tower.
spend a penny inflation public conveniences by tower of londonBune is a man (probably) that went to school with Bud and he met us at Waterloo a mere 2 1/2 hours after we set off. His wife Michelle (although I insist on calling her Colin) works for Shell right in front of the London Eye so we all knew about the bodacious swing park right there.
Their kids Cameron and Ellie and I found it was locked, and raining. One of the pods is orange so we decided it was ripe and would shortly fall off into the river.
So I got an ice cream and they got blue ice-sludgies and we crossed Westminster Bridge and saw the Police horse and got the underground train to Tower Hill right by the Tower of London.
We tickled the bronze statue of the Roman Emperor Trajan in the willy and had to pay 50p to have a wee (spend a penny inflation) and then went into the Tower where the bogs were free.
beasts menagerie iron bars cage tower of london inner curtain wallIt's a mere 940 years old and we saw the Traitor's Gate and the Bloody Tower and a polar bear made of chicken wire and we went in the White Tower. It's totally chock full of really groovy stuff with antique guns and swords and stabbing weapons and torture kit and cannons and armour and gold and windy staircases and some ravens in a cage. For lunch we both had the Kid's fish'n'chips for only £23, cheap at thrice the price and he told me to find the toilets on the way out.
portland stone tower bridge in evening sunlightHow was I to know I'd found the roped-off gold-plated toilets by the Royal Banqueting suite (closed for UN functions only).
lovelock bridge padlocks on tower bridge london Then we climbed the inner-outer walls and all the towers were built in 1240 just in time for lunch and they had some crowns and prisoners and you can try on the weapons and helmets and Ellie was giggly and Cameron was naughty.
The queue for the crown jewels had gone so we saw them and you get to go on a travelator and the oldest thing they've got is a 12th Century spoon because they destroyed everything when they chopped the king's head off in sixteen-something and there's millions of diamonds and maces and swords and jugs and ewers and a wine cauldron I could have a bath in and it's all rather swish and glittery but you can't take pictures.
Even the doors look like the ones at the bank.
big ben clocktower houses of parliament westminster londonOnce I'd got some swag from the shop Bune et Family left us and we ran over to Tower Bridge even though I was getting very tired feet. The bridge is ace and you will remember it from the Olympics and the last glorious century, in case you'd missed that. It looks really good from road level but even better from above.
We did the tour and you get to go on the walkways and there's a couple of films and we went in the engine room and did the interactive challenge and we found the place where the 2 bridges don't quite join and some people have added padlocks just like the love-lock bridge in Gay Paris! It is lit at night by lots of spotlights in the pavement and it looks cool but the vendors of unknown food devices nearby are very smelly.
tower bridge lit at nightI nearly had to get carried back to the underground station and when we changed at Westminster onto the Jubilee line we descended another 3 levels and it was like a giant ICBM silo sunk deep into the London Clay.
Once we'd got essential supplies from the concourse shops at Waterloo, (beer, bananas, match attax cards), the black and yellow departures board said the best train home was on platform 13 and we ran for it. It was standing room only so we sat in first class and made it to Winchester before the train guard lied by saying there was space elsewhere but they all got out at Eastleigh so I stretched out over 3 seats and then Jof picked us up and took us home and cooked for us and I showed her all my artefact winnings and I crashed out for tennish.
Victory Items:
Tower of London Commemorative coin. 4 (count them, 4) different squashed penny souvenir items, Tower Bridge passport sticker set, Tower of London Apprentice Knight badge, London Underground train carriage (unspecified line), knight in shining copper armour pencil sharpener, 3 foot welts/bunions/corns/blisters, and several tellings-off for being manic. Time out of house: 12 1/2 hours.

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