Commentary and pictures from our trip to the UK.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

All Aboard! A London Adventure...

Shireen had to tend to some business in London on July1 for the program she is directing at Cambridge. This presented a terrific opportunity to travel into the big city for some sightseeing with the kids. Given their age and levels of stamina, it wouldn't be the full-throttle touring that adults do. We had to do something simple.

The day began with our first trip on the British railway system. This proved to be a big hit with the kids. The trains are very nice, and travel on them is affordable. For about $70 US we were able to purchase train tickets that included unlimited usage of the London Underground and bus system.

While Shireen took care of business at the Knightsbridge Barclay's branch (across the street from Harrod's), the boys and I strolled around the area near the building. We came across a London Fire Brigade station aroudn the corner from the bank. The firemen were washing a Mercedes fire truck. I asked if I could snap a few pictures of the fire equipment for a friend back home. The firemen immediately latched onto Jonathan and Alistair and proceeded to give them one of the most thrilling moments of a day filled with excitement.

The firemen didn't just allow me to take some pictures of their apparti (which didn't turn out well, sorry Wilson). They put the boys in the truck, let them wear their helmets, and even let Jonathan start the truck. This was followed bythem letting the boys (with assistance) operate the hoses and spray water out the back of the station. These blokes were amazing, and you wouldn't believe how much fun the kids had.

After we left the fire station, we met back up with Shireen and headed down the road to see some museums. Our first stop was the Victoria and Albert museum of Art. The boys didn't have much patience for it, but they were willing to tolerate the hands-on discovery areas. They each tried on a gauntlet and othe fun stuff.

Next, we walked a little further down the street to the Natural History Museum.Again, the kids had little patience. But the dinosaurs helped that immensely.

The entryway to the museum.

Jonathan in front of a prehistoric crocodilian. They've changed little to now.

T-Rex skeleton.

Another dinosaur skeleton.

Velociraptors. Scary in packs.


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