Anyone who has been on the tube in London will know the announcement ‘Mind the gap’, warning passengers of the gap between the train and the platform. Yesterday it was about the only gap we came across. London was packed!
We started our day at The Tower of London. Aunty Travel Bee had kindly pre-booked all our activities for the day. Even still, we had to wait, and…. wait, in the rain. This was the mother of all queues.
I must say, it was a bit disconcerting knowing thousands were being crammed in the gate and that we all wanted to see the same things. Nevertheless, there was nothing to be done about it so we shuffled our way along. Once we entered, we picked up a Yeoman tour.
Clive our Yeoman, lead us to the chapel where not only were there chairs, but underfloor heating! Such relief from the dreary London weather (thank you Queen Victoria for insisting on this upgrade). He then entertained us with the history of the tower, it’s Kings, stories of beheaded Queens and other notable executions. It was well worth waiting for and definitely the quickest way to get an understanding of what the tower is all about.
After, we wandered through the courtyards to White tower where we discovered the ‘Line of Kings’ and displays of all their armour. You could have spent hours reading about each King and their endeavours but instead we flowed with the crowd, occasionally breaking free to read something that took our fancy. A favourite for Miss 12 was the dragon on the top level made from leftover pieces of armour!
Unfortunately, the crowds were just too big and we had to make the decision to forgo seeing the Crown Jewels (the queue looked to be at least an hour wait) along with many of the other attractions at the tower. We needed to head to our next booking and Master 15 was……….. you guessed it……. hungry.
Back on the tube and across town, we had just enough time to fill our tummies before heading into Wyndham Theatre for a matinee showing of Life of Pi. Built in 1899, this small, intimate theatre is a beautiful example of a quintessential West End theatre.
Before watching this show, I knew very little about Life of Pi. The only thing I did know, was it was a story about a boy befriending a tiger. One had to wonder how on earth there would be a tiger on stage!
It turned out puppetry was the answer and wow was it clever. Each animal was operated by three puppeteers partially inside the puppet, one at the head, another the ‘heart’ and the third at the tail. Within twenty minutes you didn’t even notice them and focused only on the animal.
Between the puppets and the set, this truely was a spectacle of theatrical craft and imagination. We were astonished at how the stage itself transformed into an ocean. The story although slightly gruesome in parts, was quite thought provoking and enjoyed by all.
From here we finished the evening with a meal at Côte (French restaurant chain) near Bond street. The pulled pork was sublime disappearing from Miss 12 and Master 15’s plate rather quickly, as did the chocolate crepe for dessert.
So after visiting eight different tube stops, walking 10100 steps, climbing around 1000 steps and riding around 12 escalators we made it through a second day in London. Nan Travel Bee kept up the whole way and we managed not to lose anyone! Success!