Thursday, August 21, 2008

London, Day 3, Part One: The Tower of London

I took so many photos at The Tower of London that I decided to give it it's own post. The period of history represented by this particular landmark is my favorite to study, and I just finished a few months of obsession over historical novels about the Tudors, Elizabeth the First, etc. It is quite a complex, and we spent three hours there. A view of the Tower Bridge from one of the windows.

This chair looked just like the coronation chair (that every queen or king is coronated in still today) that they have at Westminster Abbey. I couldn't photograph the real thing, so I snapped up a picture of the reproduction.

The White Tower

This is a monument to the people killed on the scaffold at the Tower. Jane Grey, Anne Boleyn, and many, many more.
There are names carved into the wall in tower where prisoners were held. This graffiti has been here for hundreds of years! Here is Robert Dudley's name (Elizabeth the First's Lover, who was imprisoned as a traitor to her sister, Mary).

This carving is assumed to be in reference to Lady Jane Grey, who was queen for just a short time and then executed as a traitor to Mary. The assumption is that someone else carved her name as a tribute to her.

There are ravens everywhere on the grounds.

The crown jewels are housed at The Tower of London (which you are not allowed to photograph) as well as the Armor of King Henry VIII, and many, many weapons.

A reproduction of several kings' horses and armor.

Henry VIII's horse and armor.

Stay tuned! We haven't even gotten to France yet.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

London, Day 2!

Hold on to your hats, this was a long and busy day. First up: Buckingham Palace. We did not do a tour, but just walked around the outside.
Once again, Gabe thinks he is funny.

On to St. John's Park, a lovely park filled with winding paths, ducks and ponds.
And....The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk!

Why all the lamp posts in London have the Chanel Cs on them I do not know.
Proper british phone booth with Big Ben in the background.
In Gabe's notes about the day, next to Big Ben he wrote "big". That pretty much says it.

Westminster Abbey! Wow, this place almost makes me believe in God. I cannot fathom how people build structures like this. Unfortunately, they do not allow photos inside. I'm not sure I could do it justice anyway.

I did sneak one of Elizabeth the first's tomb.
Off to Camden Town, which is kind of like the Haight Street of London. Funky shops and hipsters wherever you look. Gabe trying to decide what to eat at Pret A Manger, the most prolific to go food shop in London.

Of course we had to stop in another record shop. I was obsessed with how many different kinds of "house" music categories they had!

These sunglasses are for sale on almost every street corner in London. Most of the displays have signs that say "no photos please" to stop annoying tourists like me. I snuck a couple anyway.

Next we hopped on the underground and went to the British Museum....
...where we saw the Rosetta Stone, and then promptly left. It was very crowded. One thing that is really great about London is that almost all of the museums are free, but that also means that there are always a lot of people there.

After this I left my camera at the hotel and we took in a symphony at the Royal Albert Hall (to quote Gabe's notes again "fucking enormous!"), and then dinner at Stick and Bowl ("cheap! good!"), a noodle house nearby. As you can probably guess, I was exhausted by day's end, but glad we got to see so much.