We had a tricky night which involved poor Eloise waking up and being confused about where she was, back into Mum and Dad’s bed. Lachlan was busy in the morning planning how to get around on the Underground.
The Underground has its origins in the Metropolitan Railway, the world’s first underground passenger railway. Opened in January 1863, it is now part of the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. The first line to operate underground electric traction trains, the City & South London Railway in 1890, is now part of the Northern line. The network has expanded to 11 lines, and in 2020/21 was used for 296 million passenger journeys, making it the world’s 12th busiest metro system. The 11 lines collectively handle up to 5 million passenger journeys a day and serve 272 stations.
We needed a slower start to the day, with breakfast outside the Tower of London.
The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which is separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite.
We then rendezvoused with the Londoners for another action-packed adventure.
First stop, Borough Markets. The earlier breakfast was definitely a bad decision. Although Eloise is eating more for breakfast each day. Hazel and Tom showed us their favourite doughnut stall and we did not take much convincing.
Borough Market is a wholesale and retail market hall in Southwark, London, England. It is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London, with a market on the site dating back to at least the 12th century. The present buildings were built in the 1850s, and today the market mainly sells specialty foods to the general public. A market that originally adjoined the end of London Bridge was first mentioned in 1276, although the market itself claims to have existed since 1014 “and probably much earlier”
We continued to explore the markets, a foodies paradise. We sat down to eat and noticed The Black Pig was cooking with a series of Big Green Eggs. Grandpa Fensom would have been very proud of them.
The tour guides pointed out the street where Bridget Jones apartment was located, Lachlan was more interested in returning to the yummy smells from the market though.
Next stop, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Thankfully after Lachlan’s morning revision, he led the way.
We started to walk from Bond Street Station and the weather was turning for the worst. Eloise had had enough of the pram at this stage so into the baby carrier it was, which certainly cheered her up. Then she nicked Hazel’s umbrella thinking she was hilarious. Thank you Hazel!
As soon as we entered we realised we had seriously underestimated how large this was. It was pretty much a Christmas themed Royal Adelaide Show which had all been built in Hyde Park. Tom was craving Bratwurst and Bavarian Village sounded like just the place for lunch.
We had not walked far when Eloise had found the Teacups ride.
The moment we had all been waiting for, ice skating. After strapping blades onto Eloise’s feet we found out there were no penguins available, making ice skating challenging. Turns out Hazel could skate backwards faster than the majority going forwards and leant a much-needed hand. Tom then knocked over a small child and stole his penguin and we were good to go. Just kidding Linda, a few were returned early and Tom went and hired one, saving the day.
I have successfully managed to erase memories of Blades of Glory from my mind and cannot stand Will Ferrell. Pretty sure the plot went something a little like this though…
The family have well and truly jumped on the Christmas sweater bandwagon. Yes, that is Santa on a rocket!
It was again sadly time to part ways with Hazel and Tom. All the Christmas lights looked nice down Oxford Street. They are much more into Christmas decorations here. Makes sense seeing it gets dark during the day leading into Christmas. Christmas cannot creep up on you here as it tends to in Adelaide. It is just like all the stereotypical cheesy Christmas movies that we all love.
Lachlan then directed us up down and all around the tube stations. A little tricky when you have to find the series of lifts. Westminster Station got us down to level -7. It was peak hour and busy on the trains.
After a quick (everything feels quick) sitdown and roll about we somehow found some energy to get out again, this time to Wagamama for dinner. Eloise is getting better with the children chopsticks.
It was then time for a nice nighttime walk to check out the impressive buildings while hopefully putting the children to sleep. Dad was silly and mentioned how it was strange so many office lights were still on, this got Eloise pondering and she then had to point out every single light she could see, while not falling asleep. Good one Dad. Lachlan was in a deep sleep in his beloved baby carrier cocoon.
Meanwhile back in haggis land, some people have been without power since Storm Arwen a week and a half ago. They are now also bracing for Storm Barra, “gusts of up to 70mph (112km/h) are expected, with 2in to 4in (10cm) of snow falling in some places. It is expected to cause disruption to travel and impact driving conditions.” Fingers crossed we can get home okay, otherwise Hazel and Tom we are moving in.