A Busy Day

It is hard to choose from all the interesting places one can visit in London. Many people say that even two weeks would not be sufficient to see them all. Well, we had one more day, so we had to choose wisely. In the end it is really a question of personal preference: do you want something entertaining or with more historical value?

We started our day with a visit to The Tower of London. The entry price is ₤21.45 per person (which by the way included a small donation of around ₤2, I do not remember how much exactly). The ticket offices are placed a bit odd outside the actual fortress, but there are huge signs leading people to them and they are actually in the way if someone comes via the tube to the Tower. The queues were surprisingly small (even though there were a lot of people visiting) so we went through the whole process in a couple of minutes.
Tower of London
While the actual tour presents a lot of fortress related stuff (armors, weapons, cellars) I think most people visit the Tower of London to get a glimpse on the Crown Jewels. And maybe it is just me, but I was a bit skeptic about this: are tourists being let so close to one of the biggest treasures of the U.K.? Are the exposed artifacts really the real ones? “Well, yes dear they are. I know it is a bit of a shock, but they are!”, as the lady watching over the crowds of tourists responded to my seemingly naive question… It’s a shock isn’t it? 😀 .

On top of that there are free shows while walking around in the Tower, with actors playing historic scenes right among the visitors. It was quite shock (again) for us to see that some people seemingly appearing from the 17th/18th century just appeared in front of us arguing about some prisoner who was locked in the Tower… anyway we quickly realized it is just a play, and we enjoyed it until the end :).

Our visit at the tower lasted about 2 hours and by the end we were quite overwhelmed by all the historic facts and information we learned that day… we were ready for a break and hit some of the ‘entertainment’-type POI-s of London: the Sealife London Aquarium. Why exactly this one? Well, it is really close to the other venues (right across Big Ben, next to London Eye) and if someone has never visited one, it can be a great experience 🙂 .

The entry price to the aquarium for adults was ₤21.60 and for this one gets a decently built aquarium with its own tunnel below the sharks and sting-rays swimming around you. While I have been to other aquariums, I have never been to one with a tunnel, so that was a first to me. It offers a quite unique viewing angle and certainly has a “wow-effect” 😉 .

After the relaxing one and half hours in the aquarium we got quite hungry, so we had to find something to eat. This time, for some reason, we were not in the mood for the traditional fish’n chips 😛 and we also needed a place to stay with WiFi connection. Well, where else to go than good old McDonald’s? I know it is a bit lame, but at that point it was perfect for us to recharge ourselves a bit before moving to the next venue.

The next venue was the last for the day and we also had limited time to visit it. We were almost sure we cannot see everything, but we headed off anyway to get to The British Museum. Entering the museum is free of charge so it was a bit of a relief after the slightly overpriced first two venues… Having so little time to spare it was a great help to have a brochure (also free 😛 ) to help us organize our visit: it had solutions for 2-3 hour visits but also for one hour visits to just take you through the highlights (yeah, lame again, but when you are bounded by time, anything helps 😉 ).
British Museum
Our curious nature, however, played a trick on us and we have spent some more time at some of the exposed objects, so we missed a couple of highlights :(. We were just a few meters away from one of them when a guard appeared in front of us, with open arms, at first giving the impression he wants to hug us ( 😛 ), to gently force the crowds out of the museum… Well, maybe next time…

In the end it has proven to be difficult to see even a small subset of things to see in London, thus leading me to my final conclusions about the trip to this city:
1. Indeed, a few days is not enough to visit London.
2. Yes, we will definitely have to go back again :).

And finally some photos here


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