Personally

Finding our spirit animals.

As you guys know from reading my last blog, my better half finally returned from a bazillion miles away and we’ve barely left each other’s side since the moment he arrived in London.

The past week has been hectic, hence no blog post on Sunday, but, he’s off today for his first day at a big-boy grown-up grad job in an actual office where he has to don an actual suit. Classy.

I am not going to lie, I thoroughly enjoyed lying in bed this morning admiring the view that was him piecing together his outfit… basically, in true Barney Stinson style suiting UP!

(if you are not familiar with How I Met Your Mother I suggest you stop your life right now and make set up camp. It’s all on Netflix and I was able to watch all 9 seasons in under 2 months during exam period, so no excuses okay?)

Since we both live in Scotland (until 3 weeks from now, watch this space for a big announcement) and his flight landed in London, I was not prepared to wait an extra day for him to come back into our homeland to be able to see him, so we decided I would get a bus down to the airport, meet him (which I did and he happened to come into the Terminal at Heathrow where they filmed the opening sequence of Love Actually back in 2003, so it was extremely emotional, *sob, sob, cry*, and we decided to make the most of both being down in London and booked a hotel (through Groupon, we’re not made of money thanks) and went to London Zoo for a little day trip the following day.

I travelled to London from Glasgow on the Megabus service which cost £5 for a 9 hour journey with a booking made 2 months in advance. If you don’t like being still for more than a couple of hours, or having to sit next to strangers, I would not recommend doing this. If you are fine with sitting in the same position and know that whoever you’re meeting at the final destination is worth the wait AND have zero money to your name though, then Megabus is your man. 

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It’s fairly easy to get to, just go up to the receptionist at the hotel, badger them with a thousand questions regarding the location of the zoo, how to get there, whether it’s walkable because we’re poor and also have an impending 9 hour bus journey looming ahead of us and want to be moving as much as possible, if it’s expensive etc. Basically make the receptionist hate you but also gain as much info as you possibly can because how else are you supposed to find your way around the labyrinth that is the centre of London?

Just as an aside, the zoo wasn’t walkable from where we were staying, so we had to take the Tube, but that turned out fine as we were able to walk by 221B Baker Street, appreciate the queue of tourists waiting to get in, decide not to join them and swagger on by. Still saw it though, and getting a photo of it was enough to please my bookworm father. 221B Baker Street is the address of literary detective Sherlock Holmes if anyone just read that last paragraph and got super confused. 

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It’s a weird feeling… the zoo is slap bang in the middle of the centre of London, so one minute you can be chilling with a pint with all your shopping bags, and next minute you’re staring a gorilla in the face.

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It’s not a cheap place to go to, with entry fees almost reaching £30, and obviously the food stands and drinks inside the zoo itself are not the cheapest to buy when you feel a bit peckish, but it’s totally worth it (and if you’re a student, ask for the discount. They don’t advertise it, but we were able to get in for a couple of quid cheaper.)

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I can honestly say it was one of the cutest days we’ve had together.

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The exhilaration and excitement of finally being together again, mixed with the fascination and awe of seeing all these weird and wonderful creatures (we were not fans of the spider room, I have to say) just made it a perfect day for the two of us to spend together. Granted, zoos come with their pros and cons, and it upsets me to think of animals being held in places they don’t want to be, but having done some research, London Zoo aims to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats, and their enclosures and exhibits show clearly the level of threat faced by each animal in the wild, in order to educate visitors.

 

You can’t do the zoo in a couple of hours. We were pushed for time and we zoomed about the place at top speed because we knew we had somewhere to be, and even then we had to patch the Owl exhibit because we had to leave and meet my boo’s sister for dinner -though we had it in Chinatown so again, it was definitely worth it- and head back to Scotland on the night bus.

So, if you plan to take a wee visit, make sure you make it a whole day trip and not squeeze too may other activities within the same day or you won’t be able to appreciate it in all it’s glory!

I’d never been to a zoo before that I can remember, and this was the most amazing way to welcome my chopstick into the country!

Hopefully we’ll get to see the pandas at Edinburgh Zoo next!

C x

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