Tuesday, June 20, 2006

London - Sunday 

The weather looked great so we decided to ride the

London Eye

We had checked into it on Friday afternoon but the lines were very long, so we were there right at opening time on Sunday morning and the lines were not too bad. It takes about 30 minutes and since the weather was clear we had great views of the city. Jacob enjoyed the ride too, he thought it was fun to go up so high. When we were finished there we took the underground to the London Zoo. It was probably one of the longest trips on the underground, most places are just a couple stops away. Once we arrived at our stop we had quite a walk to the zoo, we were glad we had Jacob's stroller. Otherwise he would have been worn out before we got to the zoo. The lines to get in were so long, but we eventually made it through the gate. It is a nice zoo, lots of animals. We saw the statue commemorating the bear that inspired the "Winnie the Pooh" stories, here is Jacob with it.

The plaque in the back tells the story, here it is in a short summary :
On August 24th, 1914 while enroute overseas during World War I Lieutenant Harry Colebourn V.S. of the 34th Fort Garry Horse Regiment of Manitoba purchased a black Canadian bear cub at White River, Ontario. He named her Winnie, after Winnipeg, his hometown. The bear became the pet of the soldiers. While Lieutenant Colebourn served in France she was left in the care of the London Zoo. In 1919, he gave her to the zoo where she was visited and loved by many, including the author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher.

I had forgotten that this was where Winnie the Pooh came from, so it was a nice surprise. It is tucked away in a corner so I'm glad we didn't miss it! The exhibits were nice, we spent a few hours at the zoo. Jacob had a lot of fun, it was a nice break for him.

After the zoo we found a cab and went to the British Library, home to many historical manuscripts and books. We saw the Gutenberg Bible, the Magna Carta, original Alice in Wonderland writings, and many other items. The room all these things are in is not very large, but there is so much in there! We spent some time looking at them, and then headed back to Piccadilly Circus for dinner. While there we saw a movie premiere going on, they had a red carpet out and lots of security. And lots of people trying to see the movie stars! Then it was back to the hotel, we still had one day left!

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