... started out well enough. We got up relaxed from a good sleep and got ready to drive to London, in no great rush but making good time. The journey was uneventful and we parked the car at my sister's and got the bus to the Southbank. Jacob was very excited about being on the bus (busses are one of his favourite things at the moment- in pictures, in books, on TV, on the road..) so he was happy to be on one and all the way there all we heard was "bus" "bus" "bus!". Having got the tube around London before with the little one and knowing the crowds and escalators are pretty difficult the bus was brilliant! We used an app called Citymapper which was brilliant, it showed us where we were and where to go to get the right bus! Easy peasy and fun!
YO!Sushi and there isn't one near us so every time I go near one I love to have a munch on some of their yummy grub. We got off the bus, walked towards the SEALIFE London Aquarium and hey presto there was a YO! for us to visit and it was lunch time. The day was going right to plan, not that we really had one. I was a bit worried about the queue at the aquarium as I had heard that it could be up to two hours and I wasn't sure how the little man would cope with that but we took a chance. Our lunch was really good, although Jacob stuck to his cheese sandwich and didn't seem too keen on the sushi, he liked his cool highchair and chopsticks and the balloon they gave him went down really well! (until it popped outside the aquarium. Then we had "loon" "pop" - after we explained to him what had happened) - and lots of tears.
After lunch we headed round to the Aquarium, the queue was warning on 90 minute wait times but we went for it anyway and luckily it didn't seem to take that long at all, probably 45 minutes in the end and the little man coped really well with it, despite it being difficult not to run around all over the place. We had a voucher from Tesco so we all got in for the price of one adult (£20).
Once we got through the hot uncomfortable queue we were faced with another claustrophobic queue type situation to walk over the shark tank on glass. I had read about this on their website and was very excited. Walking above the tank was amazing and we all loved it. Unfortunately the rest of London was waiting behind us to walk over it too so we had to move pretty quickly (shame).
After that we were met by very loud "relaxing" music. This, along with the hoards of other people made the first part of our visit less under water wonderland and more hot, uncomfortable and stressful. The sheer amount of people made this trip quite an ordeal. It was impossible to see into all of the tanks and you had to move through quite quickly which was a shame. I would have liked to stop and let Jacob explore a little more but it was quite a stressful atmosphere with lots of other children all over the place and it very difficult to see the fish properly. Another problem was that the three of us could not move around together. One of us had to be with Jacob and look at the fish while the other (mostly Jacob's dad) had to stand in corners with the buggy out of the way. Then the lift to take everyone with push chairs out was malfunctioning so we missed the penguins and it took forever to get out!
I know it is half term so we were probably asking for it but I think it would've been so much better if there were less people there. I think the aquarium should seriously consider limiting the amount of people allowed in to a greater extent. If you are considering a visit I would definitely recommend visiting either late in the day or very early when there will be less people.
There were some amazing sights, especially the sharks in their huge tank and Jacob was pretty enthralled the whole time, looking back over my photos made me remember the good bits despite our overall impression being quite poor.
Next time I go I'll make sure its not half term and its a bit quieter!