Wednesday, January 8, 2014

European holiday....Tower of London.

By the time we organized ourselves to get out of the door this morning, it was bucketing rain, so off we went with our umbrellas, of little effect the way the wind was driving the rain. Fortunately, the nearest tube station, Marble Arch, is only a couple of minutes walk away. Prior to leaving, I had sought advice from our reception desk, and had the instructions to reach our destination. This involved changing trains, we thought it should not be too difficult.

It wasn't, and although it was still raining when we reached our station, it was only a couple of minutes walk at that end to get to the Tower of London and some shelter.

Once we had shown our London pass which gives us free admission to a number of tourist venues around London, we were taken on a tour by a Yoeman Warden. He took us to various places within the tower, and explained a lot of the history. We were then free to explore on our own. Aysha had a friend who happened to be visiting as well, and amazingly, he found us, and joined our tour.

This sentry is part of a military guard stationed here to provide protection for the Crown Jewels. He comes from an operational unit of the armed forces that is currently employed on ceremonial duties.

I have to say this young man looked about fifteen years if age, I think I must be getting old!

This beautiful building houses the priceless Royal Jewel Collection, and has been home to it since the 17th century. It is quite amazing,and beautiful almost beyond description. There is also a lot of coronation regalia, and information about the coronations of various kings and queens. We saw the coronation orb of Mary II, whose palace we had visited in the Netherlands. She had to have one especially made for her, as she was crowned simultaneously with her husband, William III.

We spent most of the day wandering around the world heritage site, there was so much to see and learn. In my ignorance, I thought the London Tower was one of the towers you can see on the tower bridge. You are never too old to learn though. Many were imprisoned here, and lost their heads. Aysha and Nat managed to get on a tour titled "Torture at the Tower" which they enjoyed very much.

Aysha and Nat have completed their tour for the day.

With the daylight fading, we thought we might just have time to visit the oldest church in England, All Hallows, as it was right next to the tower.
In the crypt display, I saw the baptismal register of William Penn, dating back to 1644. This boy grew up to be an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, and founded the state of Pennsylvania in the USA. Almost 400 years later, this record is intact, and can be read.
His father, also William Penn, was instrumental in saving All Hallows' during the great fire of London. In order to halt the fire, he ordered several building surrounding it be to blown up, and so created a fire break.

By the time we left the church, it was well and truly dark, and although it was only a quarter to five, it seemed like seven o'clock, so we made our way home again on a very busy and very crowded tube. In fact, our second train was so crowded, that The driver kept speaking over the PA system....please move off the doors, please move off the doors! Don't lean on the doors, this is your driver speaking!!! .....I was delighted to be offered a seat, and TRO was offered one too. Chivalry is alive and well in old London Town!

Location:Seymour Street,London,United Kingdom

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8/1/14

    Glad the weather isn't getting in the way of your fun :)