Thursday, May 18, 2017

Day 4: Tower of London and St Paul's Cathedral

Julie was able to come with us into London on this day!

Taking the train. They are quite nice! I love the high-speed. We could get to London in practically no time!

First we went to St Paul's Cathedral. No pictures allowed inside. But it is huge and elegant, much different that Westminster Abbey. The paintings and mosaics and architecture are amazing. We climbed 166 very narrow stairs to the "Whispering Gallery" high above the main floor. There was a spot in the stairway where you could see above the inner domes, and could see where they had to repair bomb damage (a huge bomb came through the roof during WWII). We also went down into the crypt, where quite a few famous people are buried or have monuments.

Eating lunch on the steps of St Paul's!

Then we took the Underground to the Tower of London. By where we came out, there were walls that had been excavated from the 2nd century, built by the Romans. Stuff is crazy old!

They used to keep animals at the Tower, called "The Queen's Menagerie." They have statues here in homage to that.

We took the Yeoman Warder tour. He told us a lot about the executions that happened on the grounds or on Tower Hill. We also went into a chapel where 1500 human remains were discovered stacked under the foundation. They have only been able to identify 6, and that was because they were executed and therefore easier to tell (like Ann Boleyn).

We got to see the crown jewels (no photography). I have never seen so much gold in my life! My favorite piece was a golden punch bowl that could hold over 100 bottles of wine, and had a huge golden shell-shaped ladle.

Inspection of the guards.

Inside the "White Tower" (the big one in the middle) is the armory exhibit. Pretty view of the London Bridge from the Tower.

Chopping block and ax used in the last beheading execution there

Jeff and the Bloody Tower. We went into it too, but there wasn't much to see. In a couple of different towers, we could see graffiti that prisoners had carved into the walls.

Jeff trying on a helmet. He said it was really heavy.

We had a great view of the London Bridge when we came out.

We had french food for dinner, then headed back to Cantebury.

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