Turns out, Dickens' World is a bit overwhelming, too. The creators did a tremendous job of re-creating an authentic Victorian street scene, complete with street urchins, dress-up clothes for the little ones, a haunted house, and an orphanage with a cruel headmaster. The grown-ups quite enjoyed ourselves, but I daresay the kids will need a few more years to fully appreciate this spectacle.
Day 3: Tourists in London!!! Can I just say that every time I travel to Europe I am astonished, overwhelmed and entirely pleased with the quality of the transit options? We spent less than we would have for a nice breakfast on transit tickets for the day. One pass allowed us to board a train to London (a clean, fast, efficient train), ride the Tube as much as we wanted, and take a riverboat on the Thames to the Tower of London. Simple, fast, cheap.
We rode the train with the commuters - businessmen talking on their cell phones, ladies with their lattes headed to the city to do some shopping, and other tourists like us, and emerged less than an hour later in London. A quick Tube ride landed us just beneath the famed Big Ben. We snapped photos, stood on the bridge and watched the river traffic below us, and headed for the London Eye - an enormous ferris wheel lodged on one side of the River across from the Houses of Parliament.
The entire ride takes about an hour as you slowly roll up and over the city and the river. We were lucky enough to be blessed with a clear day and we could see the whole of the city. Looking out over this amazing juxtaposition of ancient and modern while standing in the company of some of the people I love the most in the world was absolutely majestic.