And here is where we round out the last of Mac's Big British Adventure, now with 100% more fictional detectives!
Remember when Mac was thumbing through the travel brochure for the Tower of London? Of course you do. Well, on Day 4, he had the chance to see that marvel! After catching a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus, which takes tourists to various stops around the city, we passed over the Tower bridge and stopped right outside the Tower of London. Serendipity!
Once inside, Mac wanted to pose for a picture in front of an old patinated cannon. For what reason, I don't know, but who am I to deny the moon-headed crooner a simple request.
After the cannon, we hopped on a line to see the legendary Crown Jewels. Since they don't allow photos in the exhibition, all I have is Mac standing in front of the tower that houses them. At least that clock looks pretty cool.
History lesson: Though most criminals were executed in front of a massive audience in the center of the city, a few people were executed within the walls of the Tower of London. One of these was Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn. To memorialize these events, there is a scaffold in the center of Tower Green around which it reads Gentle visitor pause awhile : where you stand death cut away the light of many days : here jewelled names were broken from the vivid thread of life : may they rest in peace while we walk the generations around their strife and courage : under there restless skies and includes the names of the famous victims to be executed there. Naturally, Mac wanted a picture with the memorial.
After a few of the exhibits Mac started to get a little restless. I threatened to put him on the Rack. He calmed right down after that.
How do we do better than the Tower of London? To be honest, I'm not entirely sure. But we had a few hours left on our Hop-On, Hop-Off bus ride so we took a ride around the city. The first stop: Hyde Park Corner, home of this amazing gate. (That's me in the picture, btw.)
You can't really see from that picture but engraved in the gate are small rats, perhaps as some kind of grotesque memorial to the Bubonic plague. So of course, Mac wanted a picture with one. Friggin' weirdo...
Back on the bus for more city-gazing! Here we are on the top of a Double-Decker, a must-do for the full London experience.
Who's one of the most famous fictional detectives to ever work out of London? If you said "Hercule Poirot", well, you're not wrong. But they didn't build a museum to Mr. Poirot. They did, however, build a Sherlock Holmes museum right at 221b Baker Street. And as that exists, we visited it.
The museum is pretty awesome. It has about 3 floors and a multitude of rooms, each one showcasing the lives and cases of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. Here's Mac posing with Sherlock's pipe and deerstalker...
And here he is with another pipe and deerstalker, as well as a book of some kind...
And here's Mac on a mantle showing a painting of...something that I don't recall how it relates to Sherlock but I'm sure it does...
And finally Mac with a bust of Sherlock himself!
But Sherlock Holmes isn't the only fictional character memorialized by the city of London. If you visit King's Cross Station, you'll be able to find Platform 9 3/4, the platform that took Harry Potter and the Weasley's to catch the wizard train to Hogwart's! Evidently, the attraction caught on so quickly that it's a whole big to-do, with employees from the nearby Harry Potter store taking pictures for tourists to purchase. They'll allow you to take free pictures too so you don't have to worry about getting fleeced to buy your keepsakes. (You will have to put up with a whole bunch of people gathered around the luggage trolley so don't hold your breath on getting a clear shot.)
On the bus back from King's Cross, we passed a McDonald's. For a wholly American fast food chain, I was taken aback by the surprising number of McDonald's we saw in London. Anyway, Mac pestered me until I took a picture of him in front of it so here he is.
This day was a bit of a bust for pictures. Not that we didn't do much. We did. Like visiting the Kensington Palace, the Princess Diana Memorial fountain and the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. So there was a lot going on and because of that, I simply forgot to take pictures of Mac. I did manage to get a shot of him with some fish and chips in The Sherlock Holmes, a pub right down from Trafalgar Square, which were some really great pub fish and chips.
Day 6 was our last day of the trip. We had a hotel check-out time of 11 AM and a shuttle to the airport coming at 11:30 so there wasn't much time to do much. However, what we were able to do was hustle down to Earl's Court Station to the crafty newspaper vendor who constructed a replica TARDIS next to his stand. What better way to peddle sodas and candy bars to tourists than with an unofficial Doctor Who tie-in? This dude was a genius!
After catching our ride to Heathrow, we had a few hours to kill before our flight, which was later extended by a flight delay, but I don't really want to get into that. One London experience we failed to undertake was tea time but luckily Dining Street Restaurant in Heathrow was able to correct that with the "Afternoon Tea" on their menu, which Mrs. Idiot didn't hesitate to order.
Tea time again, now with a side of Ariel photobomb...
And at this point we wave goodbye to London with a sweeping shot of Heathrow airport. At noon, the airport wasn't very busy so I was able to pose Mac just right to get a good view of everything.
Needless to say, Mac had a blast in London, as did Mrs. Idiot and I. It was fun breaking the little plastic man out to take ridiculous photos of otherwise beautiful and historical places and I can't wait until my next vacation to do it again. Mac Tonight may have become my new traveling buddy!