Patrick and I started off the day with mochas from the local tube station while Amber went back to bed. The mochas were no thrill so we rousted Amber and headed off for the day.
First stop: the Natural History Museum (we love free things!). This is a museum that appeals to children of all ages and you could sure tell by the number of young children groups that were there. We headed straight off for the dinosaur exhibit and saw an animatronics T-Rex as well as an 85’ skeleton of a Diplodocus. This was among a slew of other dinosaur bones and such. I loved the dinosaurs!
Next we saw the more “normal” animals, including a life size blue whale, elephants and even a stuffed replica of a dodo bird. It was all great stuff but we were under a bit of time crunch so we headed to the rock and mineral exhibit. I was in heaven but Amber was bored. I still got a good long look and took even more pictures than normal.
Finally, we headed for the section of the huge building that was supposed to have an earthquake room – but we could never find it. There was also an escalator that, while going up from the first floor to the second, takes you through the center of the earth. It was a great disappointment. The center of the earth was more or less gold foil with colored lights flashing on it.
I must admit, the building that housed most of the collection was fantastic. It was built in the 1870’s specifically for 50 million specimens. It was built using “revolutionary” Victorian techniques with an iron and steel framework.
Next we jumped back on the tube and headed for Kew Gardens – another World Heritage Site along with the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey.
Kew Gardens has 33,000 different types of plants over its 300 acres. We stayed in the lower 1/3 of the park and visited the Palm House – a giant Victorian greenhouse, the Princess of Wales Conservatory, the WaterLily House, the tall pagoda built in 1762 and finally the Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop Walkway – a 200 yard long, steel walkway 60 feet above ground in the tree canopy. The Treetop Walkway was a little spooky since it was moving a bit, but we all made it up and down just fine.
The weather cooperated and we wandered everywhere. The giant lily pads were fun to see and I got to see a live cacao plant with pods!
It was a day a bit late (for us) and we were worried about a packed tube, so we headed back to our apartment. I had falafel on pita and enjoyed it a lot. We’re settling in for the night – tomorrow is our last full day in London. Boy – the time has flown!