Still in London
Our final day in London - everyone was coming sightseeing with us.
[everyone = Me and the BOSS, Naomi and Noah, Alberto who had come up from Canterbury for the weekend, Abby (Naomi's friend) and her son Rhys.]
Naomi asked if we could all be up and ready to leave by 9am. To her utter surprise and amazement, this actually happened. We all walked to the train station to find out that the trains weren't running from Teddington and had been replaced by buses. Thus our time advantage was dwindled away by a slow bus. We eventually made it to Waterloo and walked the short distance to the London Eye. Abby had bought her tickets online and the rest of us had bought ours on the sight seeing tour.
Tip #25: There are three lines for the London Eye; there is the ticket line for those who have not pre-purchased there ticket - this line can be very long, hot and crowded as it is inside the building. The other line is for those who have pre-bought their ticket and simply need to exchange it for a boarding pass - this line is very short and quick. The final line, which is unavoidable, is the queue to board. Even though your ticket is stamped with a time, this doesn't give you a guarantee that that time will be honoured. You can queue jump slightly if you get a "buggy ticket". This is for parents of a toddler with a stroller. You swap the stroller in for a buggy ticket and then they graciously allow you to queue jump so you don't have to hold your screaming toddler for too long.
We waited about 20 minutes in line and the ride lasted approximately half an hour. As the weather was once again hot and the skies were clear, we could see a long way. London's skyline is not as interesting as Paris and of course the Eye is not as high as the Tower. The Houses of Parliament looked pretty cool from above.
Afterwards Naomi et al left us to go and explore Pall Mall and Buckingham Palace. The BOSS and I had lunch from an outside cafe beside which was a photographic exhibition - stunningly beautiful photos from all over the world. The BOSS wanted to visit the Salvador Dali exhibition so I settled into the cafe with another coffee and a good book. When the BOSS returned we caught the tube back across the river to once again finish the National Portrait Gallery. Third time lucky, we were able to complete the Beatles display and Michael Ward, as well as the BP portrait competition finalists (similar to Australia's Archibald Prize).
I had made arrangement with Paul from Colchester to stay the night at his place so that we could get our headlights and mirror fixed first thing Monday morning. This would necesitate us getting back to Teddington, packing and leaving by five pm - as I would need to be there before dark. As things never go to plan, we didn't actually rejoin Naomi and get back to Teddington until close to seven. Instead of being on the road, I spent the evening catching up on emails and packing while the BOSS swanned around in the pool.