London Weekend

We spent the weekend in London. A nice little break after the christmas period (which was fun, but it’s nice to get some time alone). The initial reason was that my wife’s work was treating everybody with tickets to the Queen musical on Saturday night. Frankly, I hate musicals and it was the low point of the weekend. I’d never realised quite how good Freddy Mercury was at singing until I heard other musical professionals murder Bohemian Rhapsody.

But anyway, that was the least interesting bit. On Saturday, we went up and dropped our bags off at the hotel (cheap but with very cheery australians running the shop) and went straight to the Natural History Museum to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition results. If you get a chance, it’s really worth seeing. It really makes you realise what wondrous things a camera can actually do. It does cost £6, but it’s well worth it.

Afterwards, we stayed and wandered around the museum. We lunched in the cafe in the Earth sciences section (because it was the emptiest) and spent the rest of the afternoon meandering through the Earth sciences. Volcanoes, earthquakes, gem stones, it was all there and thoroughly enjoyable. By the time we’d finished, we had to go back to the hotel to get ready for the evening out.

Kudos to Mr Blair—making the museums free was a very good move indeed.

On Sunday morning, we dashed off to Madam Tussauds to see the waxworks. The ticket price was £23.99 per person, but thankfully, I’d picked up a 2-for-1 offer the day previously. This made the price seem a lot more reasonable… Anyway, the waxworks were superb. The first few rooms were full of “celebrities” of which I knew only a few. But the quality was superb. If you weren’t looking hard, and you turned round to see a crowd of people, you’d have a job picking out the wax one. They also had a section of world leaders, which I recognised a few more of.

The next bit was the chamber of horrors. Some of the waxworks of serial killers happened to have been replaced by actors, who were all too keen to jump out at you. Usually when you’d just walked past. Needless to say, it was a heart-stopping experience.

Finishing there, we wandered over to London Zoo (via tube, which was a mistake — we should have walked through Regents Park). Sadly, this was when the rain started up. 🙁 But we went in and started meandering around the exhibits. It was a bit of a shame, because the zoo is clearly underfunded. Most of the enclosures look shabby, and the information by the enclosures isn’t very helpful. Much of it looks quite sad, instead of welcoming. The bits which are new are excellent, though. I spent ages in the B.U.G.S. section. It was visually appealing and very informative. Just a shame that the rest of the zoo can’t be more like it.

Finally, we rounded off with lunch at the zoo cafe, “Graze”. The food was excellent, if a little pricy. Big portions of good solid food. Just what you need on a rainy day.

Coming out of the zoo, we headed straight back to Victoria and on to Brighton. Sitting on the train was bliss, letting our feet relax after all the traipsing around… But definitely worth it.