Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Tower of London

Finally...a day with a partner to sightsee! My husband can be so reluctant to do anything that is typical tourist I picked something I thought would interest him...a tour of the Tower of London. He started complaining right away but I told him the Tower of London is where Henry the VIII's wives were executed and traitors were tortured. That got him more in the spirit of being a tourist.

We started out by walking there from our hotel...and though it was before husband just had to stop at a British pub along the way. Pub hopping is a constant pursuit of my husband's whenever we are in London.

At least this pub was still serving breakfast and the folks already eating there had some tasty looking food so we ordered one traditional British breakfast to share with a side of scrambled eggs for me.

Two eggs, a large mushroom, 1/2 a tomato, two slices of ham, two sausages, baked beans and two slices of thick toast...and a Guinness for my husband. I got in the spirit too and had a Bloody Mary that desperately needed a shot of tabasco but none to be had in this pub.

Now fortified, we continued our walk through a very cosmopolitan skyscraper area to the Thames where we found the Tower of London in the distance.

We crossed a lovely little park with gorgeous flowers...I guess there is a little bit of Spring in London.

We entered from the back side of the Tower of London, overlooking a moat that is a lovely grassy area now. This would make an excellent doggie play area.

Our first sign of warfare husband started to perk up...a catapult. Let the Monty Python humor begin!

Right way we joined in on a free walking tour narrated by a Yoeman Warder. This tour was highly recommended in our Rick Steve's London book and as usual...that book gives great touring advice.

Our Yoeman, Clive, was very entertaining. Here we are in front of the "Traitors Gate," the water entrance to the tower. This is where Anne Boleyn and her daughter, Elizabeth, entered the tower for their imprisonment.

We toured the Royal Armory. There were lots of weapons for my husband to enjoy.

Several full-sized wooden horses were on display to show all the armor on the horses too...I can't imagine how much weight these horses had to carry once they and their riders were all out-fitted.

We got to see the crown jewels...very impressive...neglected to get a photo of any of them...but just like you imagine they would be...lots of priceless gems.

The armory museum is housed in the White Tower which is where this castle began its construction under the direction of William the Conqueror in 1077.

You can walk through the entire building. The outer walls are 15 feet thick at the base and narrow up to 11 feet wide at the top of the walls. Of course outer buildings were added throughout the years. To the left is a small church where all the bones of the executed traitors were placed in unmarked graves under the floor of the church.

To the right...our Yoemen didn't talk about these buildings but there were barracks for the armies so one would have to guess some of these buildings were for that purpose...definitely newer construction.

The view from the outer walls...across the Thames River. This is Tower Bridge, build in 1894.

We made our way back to the hotel...with another pub stop along the way. Then a little rest before heading back out to see a show at the Prince of Wales Theater. We saw, "The Book of Mormon." It is a musical written by the creator/writers of South Park. I have sons who have watched that show for years...I've seen an episode or two. The play was hysterical and I felt a lot of guilt while watching it. Very thought-provoking entertainment. The two lead actors were American and were fabulous. I just can't tell you how shocked I was by all the wonderful singing and dancing...mixed with horrifying  vulgar language. My sons did warn me! Very South Park...who knew they could write a musical?


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I love the tour you have given us today! so many wonderful historic places to see - my husband and I would both have our camera's out and snapping photos like crazy.
I have heard of the play but never seen it
Wow that breakfast would have kept me going all day - so big!

audrey said...

What an experience for you! Love hearing about your stories--so funny that men have to be lured by the idea of weaponry and (past) violence.:)