Sherlock Holmes/ London Zoo

I forgot to add last time: before we went to the play we also stopped in the Churchill War Rooms. It had so much potential…but they required you to listen to an audio tour, and I’ve never liked those, so it was a bit of a let down.

Mom and I had a really nice breakfast at the hotel, they even brought out gluten free bread!

So on our final full day mom and I made our way to Baker Street. Yes, that Baker Street! The whole area was Sherlock Holmes obsessed, his silhouette was everywhere.

We brought our coats but we didn’t need them, London was in a heat wave!

We got to the Sherlock Holmes gift shop and looked around, it was really cute.

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Apparently you can make nesting dolls out of anything these days.

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And here’s a picture of me wearing his goofy hat. Later on I saw a girl wearing one that matched her outfit perfectly!

From the museum we made our way to the London Zoo. Before the zoo there was a really long park, which was nice. (London does parks really well!) There were even baby ducks:

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We watched a lot of people running a race through the park, and I was  so glad I wasn’t them because it was so hot.

We arrived at the zoo and we could immediately tell it was different from the Philly zoo. (It had part of it across the street from the entrance!)

So of course we went to the Reptile House first. This is where Harry talks to the snake in Sorcerer’s Stone and gets his cousin trapped behind the glass.

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Despite my obvious fandom attraction to the Reptile house it was actually pretty neat!

Check out the tiniest little turtles in the world. (Not a fact)

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Then as you walked right out of the Reptile House the gorillas were right there. The gorillas at the Philly zoo are very sedated and stay in one place for long periods of time. Not this guy though!

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We watched him walk around for a while before two females came out to join him. I really liked this exhibit, there were portraits of all the gorilla’s faces on the outside. It really showed how each one was so different from the next, it was hard to remember they were animals and not people. (Which is a weird feeling entirely).

Then we saw this little dude playing around in the leaves, he seemed to be doing something very important with his day.

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Only one of their tigers was out for the day, and she was sleeping inside because she didn’t feel well. (According to the staff).

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I thought the signs surrounding her cage were very informative!

Then we saw the zebras and heard a father come in and tell his son “Those are donkeys!” but his son wasn’t fooled. It was really funny.

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The giraffes were really goofy and definitely needed a bigger enclosure.

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Then…PRAIRIE DOGS! I did a bit of linguistic research on them last semester so it was really cool seeing them in person after knowing how they communicate and that they operate in a matriarchy.

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Also, they’re just really silly animals.

Ok so I love otters. The otters are the best part of the Philly zoo because they’re so active…well we got the opposite of that at the London Zoo, but I was not disappointed!

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Sleeping OTTERS!!!!!! Wow they were so cute I couldn’t help coming back to them. So fuzzy, so sleepy.

The last exhibit we saw was the Butterfly house which was inside a ridiculous caterpillar building. Just before I left I caught one landing on this man’s shirt. Way cool!

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After the zoo we made our way back through the park, to baker street, and back to the hotel. We encountered some unpleasant surprises when we got back to the hotel (who makes you pay to use the internet, seriously) but we got afternoon tea which made up for it.

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The pastries in the foreground were gluten free!! I was amazed at how many gluten free options there were. We took our time eating and drinking tea, got back to the room and packed and waited until we had to leave.

That concludes my London trip! (I think my mom’s jetlag has finally worn off!) The next big series of posts will be when my friend Dana visits Galway in about a week.

Stay tuned.

-Dara

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