It was a sunny winters day and our first destination was the London Dungeon. Wearing our more causal clothes, we walked through Trafalgar Square into the Arches and across a bridge over the Thames. We found ourself at Southbank amongst local music around the Eye. T-Rex and I enter the building and were greeted by performers dressed as 19th century people and in full character. Having been to Draculas a few times, I was mentally prepared for this. The expectation was a self paced exploration of the building, with knowledgeable people explaining the exhibits, similar to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. However it was not like this at all, instead we were assigned to a group of strangers that were with us the entire time. We all were herded from room to room, each a particular event in history. To greet us in each was an actor that would talk for five minutes and then herd us to the next room. It also was not suitable for kids (it said 12+ but most parents ignored this) and it didn’t make much sense to our non-English speaking group members. I enjoyed it as it was essentially free as we bought The London Eye and Madame Tussaud’s at the same time, but might have been annoyed if I had payed full price. At the end was a mini roller coaster drop ride that was an interesting addition.
After the slightly traumatic experience for little Rex, we started to explore the other side of the river to find a tube station to get to Southwark. We accidentally found our way into a small street food market, the Lower Marsh Market, that smell started to awaken our appetite. In no time we found a station to take us to Southwark, where we headed to the Borough Markets. It was reminiscent of the Victoria Markets in Melbourne, but less business-y and more independents. The food on offer was amazing, from cheeses, olives, salami, scotch eggs, specialty butchers and a fancy version of any food you can imagine. I decided on a fancy three-cheese toastie whilst T-Rex wanted some of the pig-on-a-spit but somehow ended up with seasoned pork in a roll. We stockpiled ourselves with normal and gluten free brownies to eat for dessert that night and started to head back home.
We decided to plan a detour via Buckingham Palace on the way to Trafalgar, as we had been overseas for over a week and still hadn’t seen it. We got a tube to Green Park and had a very pleasant stroll through there on a sunny day. I think we must have had the best luck with the weather, as more often than not, the days were nice and pleasant. After breathing the fresh park air we found ourselves opposite the place, which was grand and magnificent but to me seemed a bit cold after the wonders of all the wonders I had visited. Still the golden emblems with the Scottish unicorn and the giant golden statue on top of the pillar were pretty expressive. After taking some obligatory selfies we decided to walk home in able to better see the surrounding area.
T-Rex and I marched along a long straight road, towards an Arch that we had seen almost everyday walking around Trafalgar Square. I think the straightness and the scale of the arch caused an optical illusion as it was a bit further than we thought. We passed what must have been a police headquarters with dozens of police cars full of police inside. Before long we were at the arch and instantly recognised where we were, about a five minute walk to the hotel. That is one of the amazing things in London is that everything is so close, walking in any direction you will soon find yourself in a familiar and interesting place.
For dinner we decide to order a room service pizza for the second time. We had felt like we need to take a second and appreciate all the great adventure we have had and all the future ones in store for us in this trip. Also the food wasn’t that bad or expensive and meant we could stay in our PJs as well as not have to battle the cold. We didn’t take a picture though, we didn’t want to immortalise our shame.