Monday, 15 April 2013

London and the Law of Sod

I don't really do many of the "family day out" sort of posts that others seem to excel in. I'm obviously far too self-obsessed and intent on airing my own internal monologues for that. Plus I'm a bit rubbish at photography, which seems to be a useful sort of thing to be good at when visually documenting these things.
"Anyway", I thought, "this week will be different! This week I'm going to tell you all about our fabulous-yet-bargaintastic day trip to London."

I had it all planned out in my head-from the itinerary to what we were all going to wear, to how much we would enjoy things.

Then came the Law of Sod.

Sod's law dictated that the weather forecast that had looked so promising earlier in the week turned gloomier and gloomier the closer we got to the day. This of course meant urban chic flew put of the window, to be replaced by sensible tourist apparel. For the law of sod dictates that you can look stylish or be dry. Not both. Never both. Still, no matter, enjoyment was still going to be had.

First stop on the itinerary was the "Emirates Air Line", a cable car over the Thames next to the O2. It was fantastically unbusy when we arrived, so we pretty much hopped straight on. Sod's law of course dictated that we didn't have the cabin to ourselves, as had looked possible, but instead had to share it with the "enthusiastic" son of a couple whose male half was obviously "not good with heights", and who was asked by his wife on regular occasions if he was alright.

Sadly visibility wasn't as great as it could have been

Annoying cabin neighbours aside, we all very much enjoyed it, especially the somewhat overblown attempts to make the "flight" experience as real as possible, with talk of flights and boarding passes etc. (from memory, think this is a trick similar to the London Eye experience, obviously only sponsored by a different airline!).

You certainly get a great view of Canary Wharf and the Eastern part of London that I was not familiar with (including a great view of the Olympic Stadium). At a bit over 3 pounds for an adult single with an Oyster or Travelcard, it's also not prohibitively expensive.

View of the O2 towards Canary Wharf from the Emirates Sky Line

Once we had alighted on the opposite river bank, the plan had been to take the DLR to the Museum of Docklands. However, Sod intervened again by ensuring that the particular line we needed was out of action.
With hindsight, what we should then have done was simply take a replacement bus service and carried on as planned. Instead, we decided to detour to the Tower of London.

Sod's law says that at this point the particular tube train we were on had to stop due to a broken down train ahead, so we walked for a while. It turns out that tired children and "soaking up local colour" don't really mix, so we also managed to walk straight past Brick Lane (somewhere I've always been curious about) without realising.

We finally arrived at the Tower, but somewhat shocked at the price of an entrance ticket (£57 for a family ticket?!) we decided to give that one a miss, so I can't tell you what that is like either... What I can tell you is that a trip on a river boat two stops is quicker than you would think, and before too long we found ourselves at the "Clink" prison museum. It was raining quite heavily at this point, so we decided to pop in.
Sod's law says I didn't actually see much of the (admittedly rather gruesome) exhibits, as these proved rather frightening for the 5 year old... (Really? Who'd have thought? Oh well, hindsight...)

Our final mode of transport was the much longed-for double-decker bus...although sod's law says that the windows were so steamed up we couldn't see out of them...

The thing is, despite the odd hiccup and things not quite going as planned, we all still managed to have a great time and want to go back.

I like to call that London's Law.

Sometimes you just have to photograph random tube signs

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