Therefore as usual, Mr S and I were desperate to create 'entertainment' for the kids. The thing about London is, there are plenty of tourist attractions but they are mostly pretty pricey.
The museums of course, are free...but we've been to almost all of those... And the kids, being kids, got to run around in those museums looking at paintings and statues and bones and mummies...but let's face it, that's not much of an entertainment to them..
And for us parents, running around after the kids in these places - where they're certainly not supposed to run or scream or play hide and seek behind the exhibits - is definitely not what we would call a jolly time either.
And so we had to look into other things to do...
That's our boat coming! Note that you can see through the middle of the boat.
Going on a cruise on the river Thames have always been one of those things that I had wanted to do with Mr S. I've always imagined though, when we actually did it, it would be a hot summer's day and it would be just us...cruising together, the wind and sun in our faces...looking at all those historical sites and buildings around us from the perspective of the river...
But fate determined that on the day we went a sailing along the Thames, it would be just a boat, instead of a cruise, we were with the children - not just us having a romantic time together, and the weather was f.r.e.e.z.i.n.g. cold.
But surprisingly, I had a really, really good time. (As usual..I think I am quite easy to please lah!)
It was a surprise, really... We actually took the boat from the O2 pier which is the nearest pier to us (the pier is called the QE2). I thought I would be cold and uncomfortable (water sickness and what not) and I just thought it would be slow and boring and probably another session of running after the kids (this time to make sure that they don't fall over the boat)...but let me tell you, it was none of those things!
First of all, it was because we didn't go on the actual 'tourist cruise' thingy. This one was basically a commuter. Thus, it was cheaper, which is always a plus point of course, and because of the fact that some people actually use this thing to go to work, it was quite fast!
The kids went in free and the adults only had to pay 5 pounds each and we didn't even need to queue up beforehand in order to buy the tickets - they have a conductor on board and we just pay when we're seated! Hassle free!
It was absolutely warm in the boat too and thus absolutely relaxing. And the kids were quiet - somehow they weren't running around as much - maybe they were a little amazed (just like their mum) by the fact that we were on a boat on the river Thames. Towards the end of our ride though, Little H did ask me if he could 'run about'...
Well, at least he asked for permission and of course, the answer to his question was NO.
We went pass Canary Wharf, and saw Mr S's old office building there...and then we went under the Tower Bridge, The London Bridge and the Millennium Bridge and passed the Big Ben, The Parliament Building at Westminster and The London Eye etc. etc....so of course Mr S took out the camera and we were snapping away....
I tell you, I would have thought that going on that red double decker tourist bus would be enough for tourists in London but I think now I've changed my mind.
I definitely recommend going on a boat (especially a commuter boat) on the river Thames if anyone of my readers come over to London. I think you'll enjoy viewing the normal sights with a twist - from the water.
For more info on the river commuters: Thames Clippers