We got on the plane the day after the Germanwings crash and there was a passenger behind me freaking out about it. I am already an armrest-gripper so that didn't help much. Arriving at the airport, we took a bus to catch a train to get on another train. The stations weren't accessible so Dave got a good workout hauling the pushchair and luggage up and down steps. Then after most of a day travelling, there was no-one at the apartment to let us in.
All right London, you win this round.
That evening, we were due to meet friends for dinner but thought we should just pop into the doctors first to check out Miss Two's cough. The secretary at the doctor's office sent us straight to the Accident and Emergency Department of the local hospital. Highlights were the comatose man in the recovery position who vomited periodically and endless replay of the first two minutes of Despicable Me 2 thanks to a scratched DVD. I stayed overnight with Miss Two in the hospital and we were discharged the next evening. (Needless to say we had to miss dinner.)
Things started looking up from there. The next morning was fine and we went for a walk along the South Bank Queen's Walk. We wandered along the riverside past Shakespeare's Globe on through the Borough Market and admired Hay's Galleria. We braved the queues for the London Eye to appreciate the sights. The trip takes about 30 minutes and you are in the pod with about twenty five people. Just make sure to get a good spot for photos (and a plan of what you are looking at helps). The views are interesting in every direction with famous landmarks and unique architecture.
|Big Ben and Westminster|
|London Eye and view over the city|
|Set of Kings Cross Station and Hogwarts Express|
|The Potters' house|
The next day, rain drumming on the roof, we met some friends at Jamie Oliver's cafe in bustling Covent Garden. Then we had a look around the Science Museum. There was heaps to see there for older kids and interactive parts too.
Too quickly, time had trickled away and it was time to depart. On the last day, we took the train to the airport. We thought we had arrived in plenty of time, however we were sent to three separate desks on check-in. By the time we arrived at security, queues of grumbling travellers snaked up and down the giant room. After putting our boots and jackets back on, a desparate run to catch our flight followed and so we were doomed to lunch on the plane (which on a certain cheap airline consists of sandwiches and no dairy-free options).
When I think of London now, I smell the spicy deliciousness of hot cross buns. These fluffy darlings are nowhere to be found in France so we scoffed as many as we could while we were in England. We also managed to get in a few milky coffees and a good old-fashioned roast. Surprising the things you miss when you can't have them.
I concede defeat. No matter how long we stay in London, it never seems to be long enough.