I took the biggest boy to London on Saturday. It was his first visit, and apparently he was the only person in his class who had never been there. He's quite often "the only person in the class who...". Anyway, we had a clear itinerary. Natural History Museum (Stuffed Birds Department), Stanley Gibbons (three million stamps) and a little bit of the iconic stuff.
How gorgeous are dodos? (Or should it be dodoes, like tomatoes?) It's a tragedy that we don't have these beautiful creatures any more. Look at those wonderful tail feathers. Of course it probably didn't help that people were capturing them and stuffing them. Look at that face. There's nothing even remotely like a dodo now.
We flew through an area about capturing images. It was wonderful, I could have spent longer there, but the stamp shop was beckoning.
Look at these beautiful botanical journals. Exquisite.
Outside there's a small wildlife garden. Sheep and moorhens in the middle of London.
We ate our sandwiches sat on a bench overlooking the grass at the front of the museum, then set off on a trek.
I absolutely love this building covered in plants. It's so lush and tropical looking. I'm not quite sure how it's all done, but it's clever and I wish there were more like it. It reminds me a little of a balcony near where I used to live in Bristol. I always like to see plants squeezed into unlikely places. Gardens created where before there were none. Greenery for those in the middle of a city. Love it.
It just so happened that there was a TUC march and rally in London on Saturday. It meant that lots of the roads were closed. It was great to be able to walk down the middle of huge roads that are normally so busy.
We only took one tube, and spent the rest of the day walking, walking, walking. After the stamp shop on the Strand we headed for Trafalgar Square. The biggest boy climbed up Nelson's Column a little and we took touristy photos and ate cookies by the fountains.
Then we went to look at the river.
We found more wildlife - a cormorant, enjoying the late afternoon light.
The sun came out and everything was just right for some pictures.
We found the London Eye (hard to miss!) which the biggest boy was happy to see. We read The London Eye Mystery recently and really enjoyed it, so it was exciting to see the actual Eye. We counted the pods and looked for the red VIP one.
We wandered down to the Houses of Parliament to end our trip.
I'd forgotten how beautiful and thrilling and tiring London is. So much to see, it's hard to know where to start, which bits I needed to show him, which things are too wonderful to miss. The architecture is stunning. Left to my own devices I could spend days wandering the streets, taking photos of the amazing buildings. Every type, every style, every period.
Another day I'll take the others, but this was just for the biggest boy. A little treat to maybe make up just a little for missing his school camp because of his broken kneecap. I bought him some stamps and an ice-cream and he declared the day to be pretty excellent.
By the time we left the sun had set and the lights were on on Chelsea Bridge. It was a perfect ending.