London Day 3: Zoo, Shopping, and Inevitable Sickness

Main Points:

  1. Visited the Zoo in the morning;
  2. Caught the water taxi to little Venice;
  3. Had a great lunch at “The Waterway“;
  4. Went to London Westfield;
  5. Bel is sick with a mild cold, Warren soon to follow (probably);
  6. Bussed back to the hotel.

As breakfast was available at 730 we headed downstairs to the breakfast-room/pseudo-restaurant area. It was very busy with mostly Russian and Australian tourists and felt particularly cramped. Sadly the coffee was average. We resolved to find somewhere else for breakfast tomorrow.

Today we had planned to visit the zoo, however our enthusiasm was somewhat dampened by our taxi driver from two days ago, who delivered onto us a damning assessment of zoos: :

“All Zoos are the same, once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen’em all”

Bel and I had been discussing the merits of his argument since then and together we could not disprove it. But we had already paid for express-skip-the-queue tickets so it was too late now to back out.

There was no queue as no one visits the zoo when it’s 13 degrees. I should have learned this when we visited the Belfast Zoo in early January a few years ago when it was sleeting. We were almost the only people there. It was so cold that the free-to-roam peacocks were cowering in the heated gibbon viewing areas. Our presence made them uncomfortable and they gave us dirty looks as they left to go find another warm enclosure.

Back to London: It’s a nice Zoo, entirely funded by entrance fees, donations etc. The original animals were transferred there from the Tower of London close to two hundred years ago. Having seen the Tower on our previous trip and the metal sculptures of the baboons and elephants there; it was interesting to see where they ended up.

Bel quite enjoyed the open enclosures where we could get right up close to see the primates. The spider monkeys were adorable and the walk-through aviaries and enclosures allowed for some excellent photography . We had morning tea at the zoo and were quite finished with the place by 1325 when we caught a water taxi (canal boat) to little Venice.

The boatman suggested we head to a local pub for a late lunch, which we did. We both had the hamburger special, 2 for 1 so lunch came in at a relativity cheap £22.

Afterwards, a short walk and train took us to the nearest shopping complex as Bel needs some new socks and cold/flu tablets. Unsurprisingly Westfield London leaves Joondalup for dead. We felt like country-bumkins walking around that monstrosity. It’s safe to say we’ll be back to do some shopping before we leave London!

Which basically concludes the day – Bel has already gone to bed due to being ill. No dinner tonight due to the huge lunch we had!

Total number of steps today: 16,228.