London Dungeon, London Eye, & the Aquarium…Or how to make the most of your last day in London

Well, it’s Sunday.  Our last day in London…boo!!  We thoroughly enjoyed the BPL game between West Ham and Manchester City even though the final results were not to our liking (The end result was a draw, but I won’t tell you which way I wanted it to go…Premier League allegiance is more polarizing that any political race we have going on!), seeing a game at Boleyn Ground in its final season was amazing and I am so glad we were able to get that worked out because it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen as a soccer player/fan/mom.

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So Sunday we hop on the tube and head to the London Dungeon.  These tickets were not part of the London Pass, but you can still pre-purchase tickets on-line so you do not have to stand in line…you may have noticed I have issues with lines (really I have patience issues, but we’ll blame the lines for now!).  I purchased a three attraction ticket.  That meant I could choose from the Dungeon, the London Eye, the London Aquarium, the Shrek Experience or Madame Tussauds.  Neither of us was particularly interested in Shrek, but I would have been fine with any of the other attractions. Jarod decided on the Eye, the Dungeon and the Aquarium so that is what we did.

We started at the London Dungeon.  When I visited the London Dungeon 20 or so years ago, it was kind of a little hole in the wall.  Not many people knew about it so it was rarely crowded, and you could just wander around the exhibition on your own at your own pace.  It has changed a bit in 20 years…

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Now it is massive, with queues, set tour times and a guide.  Once again, no pictures are allowed during the tour, but the history was fun, the actors engaging and at the end…free drinks in their tavern!!

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After this, we headed to the London Eye where we encountered our first real crowds of the entire trip…we also encountered the news that the Eye was currently out of order and our options were to come back later, or get our money refunded.  We decided to use our aquarium tickets and then check back to see if it was working later in the day.  The Aquarium was pretty cool…its hard when you grow up in DC and spend plenty of time at the Aquarium in Baltimore, MD, one of the greatest in the world.  But this one was cool too…maybe I just love aquariums!

They have lots of sharks!!  They also have tons of other really cool fish…and penguins…and crabs…and penguins…and weird sea snake things…and penguins!!

After the Aquarium, we went back to see if the Eye was up and running and sure enough it was so we got in line (the longest line we faced – about 20 minutes) and got in the car to see London from the top of the world.

It was somewhat overcast, but the sun was trying to peek through which made for some pretty awesome views!  It is said on a clear day, you can see all the way to Windsor Castle, but not today…ah well, another time.

Just in case you ever find yourself in line to get in one of the cars of the London Eye be aware…do not call it a ferris wheel, apparently its sensitive about that.  It is a cantilevered observation wheel.  Apparently, if its a ferris wheel, its not the tallest in the world but as a cantilevered observation wheel, it holds the record.  I am not sure who might come in second, or even if there is more than one, but now you know.

After our leisurely rotation around, we decided to grab some lunch at the Slug & Lettuce, a pub chain that has decent food and a pretty good selection of drinks.  After lunch, we decided to take a cruise down the Thames.  This was another included attraction on the London Pass and it would take us from the Eye to the Tower Bridge.  It was nearing sunset so it was an absolutely stunning trip.

After we arrived at the Tower Bridge wharf and got off, we decided to just wander around and enjoy the final night.  It was an unseasonably mild night for January so we strolled along with no real intended direction.

And my favorite picture maybe of the entire trip was taken on this walk.

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We headed back towards the hotel and had our second dinner of the trip at the Angus Steakhouse.  Our first one was so amazing, we hoped for a repeat performance, but alas it was not to be this time.  You can see my review of that trip here.

Monday morning brought our last tube ride, then the train back to the airport.  Gatwick was super easy to get through and we had several hours of just sitting around waiting.  Our flight to Iceland was uneventful, however Jarod did get pulled in for a random passport check, which was kind of a hassle, but not the end of the world.

We arrived back in Baltimore with little fuss and here is where American Airlines took over our travel…and it wasn’t for the better.  Our flight from BWI to Philly was delayed so we missed our connection back to Charlotte and had to get a hotel for the night and try again in the morning…we eventually did get home and unpacked.  Overall it was an amazing trip and I am so glad we were able to spend the time together before he leaves for college in the Fall.  We have one more big trip together as a family this summer and it is several cities that are on my bucket list…lots of planning to do!

 

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