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Jul 11, 2011

Aliza's London Blog

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Aliza’s London Blog – Monday 11th July
Another beautiful, sunny, summer London morning. Of course Dad wanted me to get up early but all that I wanted to do was sleep, sleep, sleep. I said to Dad that I would only get up if we would go to the London Eye first. And of course Dad had to agree like he always does.
We had another yummy breaky at the Caesar Hotel Buffet Breakfast Bar. For breaky I had a fresh fruit salad and a white roll with ham and brie cheese. I also had an apple juice with breaky.
We walked from the Hotel to the Tube Station which took about 5 to 10 mins. Our nearest tube station was Lancaster Gate. Then we caught the tube to Waterloo Station and luckily it was a quick walk to the London Eye from the station. Dad is pretty good at getting us around London except when he says that he knows where he is going, we are usually going the totally opposite way.  
I guess it was a good thing that dad woke me up so early because even though we got to the Eye just as it was opening, we still had to queue for over half an hour to get the tickets, and then for about another 20 minutes to get on the Eye.  It seems like people in England love to queue!  Everywhere we got there are queues.  But the worst was the one at Heathrow airport when we arrived.
Anyway, back to the story.  Like I said, it was a beautiful clear sunny day, so we got great views from the Eye.  It was so different to when I came with mum and Liam 3 year ago.  That day it was grey and cloudy as we couldn’t see much.  Today, we could see everything.  Dad asked me to be the photographer again.  He reckons I have a pretty good eye for a photo.  Of course, he is right!  I like the photos I took of the shadow of the Eye on the river water below.  Very artistic, even if I say so myself.
After the Eye, we got a ferry to Greenwich.  Dad was too mean to get the tourist ferry where we could sit on the top and get a good view.  We had to get the local ferry which meant we had to sit out the back and get the stink of diesel fumes.  Dad kept saying that it was such a great way to travel.  I wasn’t so sure.
But it was nice when we got to Greenwich.  Although it is part of London, it is no where near as noisy of busy.  We wandered around the village for a while.  Dad finally got me a SIM card for my phone (well, it’s Liam’s phone really but he let me borrow it for this trip, and now he has got his own new phone so maybe it actually is my phone now).  While we were waiting for lunch in a small cafe, we rang mum and Liam on my phone.  It was so great to talk to them.  We had been trying for ages to connect with them on Face Time, but the internet was no good at the hotel.  I miss them so much, and it was so nice to speak with them.
After lunch we walked up to the Observatory.  And when I say “up”, I really mean “up”.  Why does dad make me do all this walking!  On the way up, we stopped for a while to look at where they are building stuff for the Olympics for next year.  Dad says it was something to do with equestrian events, which didn’t mean anything to me, but dad says it is about horses.
Dad wasn’t keen to go into the Observatory because he would have to pay for a ticket. But I did my usual, “Oh, pleeeeeease dad.”  And like usual, he gave in.  I keep telling him that he needs to get better at saying “No”.  Not much chance of that.  He is such a yes man.
Once again my suggestion was the best one, because not only did we get to have photos taken on the 0 meridian line (like we did when we were here 3 years ago), but we also got to check out the Camera Obscura.  What’s a camera obscura, I hear you ask.  Well, why don’t you go and do some research to find out.......nah, just joking, I’ll tell you.  It’s kind of like a telescope and periscope combined.  We saw images of people and cars from in the distance projected onto a round table in this dark room.  It was real people and cars and stuff which was happening right now about a kilometre away being projected onto this table with just a mirror and a lens. Quite amazing.  We could whack the people or smash the cars and trucks.  It was fun.
Dad wanted to go to Blackheath after the Observatory because he used to live there when he worked as a doctor in London about a hundred years ago, or something like that.  It was a nice walk through the gardens to Blackheath, especially since I was able to talk dad into buying me an ice cream on the way.  We sat in the shade under the tree to eat the ice cream.  I like these moments where we sit together like that.  Usually dad tells me some sort of story from his past.  I pretend to be not that interested, because he can go on for ages about things, but actually, I really like hearing his stories.  Today he was telling me about how much he loved living in London.  He said that he cried on his last day walking across Blackheath.  I was worried that he might start crying while he was telling me the story.
As we were walking down the path to Blackheath, a policeman was walking towards us.  You know those London police, with their funny hats.  Dad stopped him and asked if he could take a photo of him with me.  How embarrassing!  But he was a nice man, and of course dad wanted to talk to him for ages, telling him all about how he used to live here about a hundred years ago etc etc etc.  Doesn’t he realised that I get tired of hearing the same stories over and over again.
By the time was got into Blackheath, all I wanted to do was go back to the hotel because I was so tired.  Even too tired to have afternoon tea, as dad wanted to do.  Once we got back to our hotel, we both had a sleep for about an hour.  Our new room is so much better than the tiny one they gave us on our first night.  It is below the ground level, and we can watch peoples legs as the walk past on the footpath outside.  I have never been in a room below ground before, but I can see that lots of people in London live in rooms like that.  There are heaps of them around where we are staying.  Makes me appreciate our home in Lennox even more.
This evening, we met with my friend Elise and her mum Louise from Byron.  They just arrived in London today, and we met them at Paddington station.  Dad thought he was so clever because he knew his way round and could show them how to find their accommodation.  They were staying with this posh English woman who sounded like the queen, and who wouldn’t let me and dad inside.  I reckon it was because dad looks a bit rough.
Dad wanted us to all go to this Greek restaurant, but I wanted pizza.  Naturally, we ended up having pizza.  It was nice to see Elise, and have someone my age to talk to.  Tomorrow we are going to go to Hamleys again.  A girl just can’t get enough of Hamleys!
See you tomorrow

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