We didn’t spend a lot of time in London on this trip, plus I managed to choose a hotel which was both loud (our next door neighbor came home drunk at 3 am and started drunkenly calling everyone he knew and verbally berating them) and expensive. (Not my fault, but still… made for a rough wake up call.)
We did spend a day doing the most touristy thing we could think of – checking out the Tower of London.
In what’s become a tradition, we started the day with a visit to the Tea House, near Leicester Square, so I could stock up on this russian samovar tea I’ve become hopelessly addicted to. Also located in the square is the half off ticket booth for theater and musical tickets, which you should always stop and investigate. Last time we traveled to London we saw ‘The 39 Steps’, which was brilliant, and ‘Spamalot’ because we are unashamed dorks.
The best-named pub in all of London. Possibly.
Click for more below….
The Tower of London looks like what it is, a medieval castle surrounded by modern city. It feels huge while you are walking around inside, but then you exit and realize it’s dwarfed by skyscrapers off in the distance.
There’s a legend about the ravens of the tower – if they ever leave, the monarchy will fall, so their wings are clipped to ensure the future security of the British empire. According to this article, their names are; Hardey, Thor, Odin, Gwyllum, Cedric, Hugine and Munin. They eat raw meat. Awww.
Aren’t these heads creepy? They are from a display of Armour worn by the kings of old. The guard looked bad-ass standing in the rain with his sub-automatic rifle, but it’s important business to be guarding the Crown Jewels. Unfortunately, they were equally serious about allowing no photography of the Jewels.
In between bouts of rain, the light was terrific. I kind of dig the person in the red jacket photographing me as I photograph them.
I failed to get any photos of myself on this trip, but David shot a few in Paris. I like looking at shots of him more than ones of myself anyway.
The tower is famous for the prisoners it’s held, including Anne Boleyn, Walter Raleigh, and Lady Jane Gray – who was executed on the grounds. The text in the photo on the right reads –
‘Hew Draper of Brystow made thys spheere the 30 day of Maya anno 1561
When Hew Draper of Bristol dated his sphere he had been at the Tower for just over fourteen months, accused of sorcery. In the same month, the Lieutenant reported that Draper was ‘very sick’.
The sphere is surrounded by the signs of the zodiac. The grid on the left shows the planetary influence over every hour of every day of the week.
Obligatory shot of the Tower Bridge, which I hadn’t seen or walked over until this trip. It’s really a striking piece of engineering.
And, the next day we headed off to take the Eurostar to Paris! Which is a whole other blog report….