This morning when we woke up we all felt a bit claustrophobic in our tiny Travelodge London Kings Cross Royal Scot hotel room. We posted the kids next door nice and early to wish Grandma a happy birthday! We headed out for breakfast and a big day on foot as “commuters have been warned not to travel on the Tube after a strike by London Underground workers shut most lines, causing travel chaos”. Luckily it was a nice day, with Dad sporting his trendy shorts.
The grandparents activated day one of their London Pass and we headed back towards the city. All of a sudden, Eloise found a tea party that she had to join in, pulling up a seat with Grandma next to Ms Koala.
The grandparents headed into St Pauls’s Cathedral, and we pushed on. Shortly after we arrived at Australia House, more commonly recognised to others as Harry Potter’s Gringotts Wizarding Bank. Eloise was hoping for some Vegemite, disappointingly there was none provided.
The kids then lucked out with a hidden PG. Lachlan was loving the helical slide.
Da Boyz have been excited walking the streets of London, there have been Bromptons everywhere, a beautiful sight. The Brompton Bros had to check out Brompton Junction in Covent Garden. The new titanium T Line was mind boggling.
We took the kids to check out Trafalgar Square, we could not remember if they had been here before but thought they would enjoy the lions, “roarrrrr”. Lachlan curled up and had a nap so we figured it was the best time to search for the Sunflowers in the National Gallery.
As expected, the National Gallery was spectacular, even better than we had imagined.
There was a particular painting that jumped out to us and brought back happy memories of Nali and Grandpa Dave, who had walked these very steps in 1985.
Then we stumbled upon Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, it had just been restored after some idiot through soup at it last month.
Sunflowers is the title of two series of still life paintings by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. The first series, executed in Paris in 1887, depicts the flowers lying on the ground, while the second set, made a year later in Arles, shows a bouquet of sunflowers in a vase. In the artist’s mind, both sets were linked by the name of his friend Paul Gauguin, who acquired two of the Paris versions. About eight months later van Gogh hoped to welcome and impress Gauguin again with Sunflowers, now part of the painted Décoration for the Yellow House that he prepared for the guestroom of his home in Arles, where Gauguin was supposed to stay. After Gauguin’s departure, van Gogh imagined the two major versions as wings of the Berceuse Triptych, and finally, he included them in his Les XX in Bruxelles exhibit.
We were sitting about admiring the inspiring artwork waiting for James Bond and Q to appear but not today. Interestingly the bench was different and so was the painting on the right.
This insanely realistic horse was one of Eloise’s favourites.
The National Gallery was packed with school students sketching paintings, well trying to at least, Eloise was also keen to have a go.
The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, in Central London, England. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900… Its collection belongs to the government on behalf of the British public, and entry to the main collection is free of charge. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic it attracted only 1,197,143 visitors, a drop of 50 per cent from 2019, but it still ranked eighth on the list of most-visited art museums in the world.
The grandparents were having a great time at St Paul’s Cathedral and made the long climb up to the dome.
On our fifth trip to London we finally got to see Big Ben for the first time as “National landmark Big Ben has finally broken free of scaffolding to show its £80m, five-year restoration project” only a few months ago. It was even “donging” to everyone’s amusement.
After the parents had fun in the National Gallery, it was the kids’ turn again.
Eloise started planning her next holiday, looks like we are heading back to Italy, while Lachlan coordinated a hostile takeover of Iceland.
We found another Engima machine, the kids knew all about these from Bletchley Park and made quick work of it.
Lachlan then crawled into a bomb shelter for the poor and was having a ball in there but kept hitting his head. It was difficult to get him out but we eventually bribed him out.
Eloise was back to the holiday planning again.
Imperial War Museums (IWM) is a British national museum organisation with branches at five locations in England, three of which are in London. Founded as the Imperial War Museum in 1917, the museum was intended to record the civil and military war effort and sacrifice of Britain and its Empire during the First World War. The museum’s remit has since expanded to include all conflicts in which British or Commonwealth forces have been involved since 1914. As of 2012, the museum aims “to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and ‘wartime experience’.”
The grandparents battled their way through the Tower of London, literally. Grandpa was cursing the cobbled paths and Grandma went full Lachnado down a helical staircase, luckily after an impressive aerial display, she stuck the landing. The show had to go on though as they impressively climbed up and through the Tower Bridge.
We rendezvoused after the grandparents had passed through Westminster Abbey where there were preparations for Remembrance Day tomorrow.
Lachie took the grandparents back around to Big Kochy before we called it a day.