Thursday, February 05, 2015

Trip of a Lifetime: London - Tower of London

I'm still plodding along through the days of our trip we took last fall to South Africa, London, and Paris! I wish I had written more things down, because I'm having trouble remembering exactly what we did on which days. My excuse is that, by the time we got back to our hotel room each night, all I wanted to do was crawl into a hot bath and go to bed! My feet hurt so bad after walking all over London that I couldn't even think straight sometimes. I finally figured out - after we got to Paris - that maybe I should be taking that Aleve I had brought with me. You think so, Susan?! I'm quick like that.

The red you see here is a sea of ceramic poppies that was being "planted" in commemoration of World War I. You can read all about the project at the link above. It was breathtaking!
On Monday of our visit, we toured the Tower of London. This was amazing! We acquired headsets at the visitor centre so we could listen to an audio tour as we took our time through this huge, thousand-year-old fortress. I learned quite a bit of England's history, and more about some of the more well-known things about the Tower of London, such as Anne Boleyn's beheading there. I loved going into each room of the historic castle and imagining what life must have been like, especially for the women living there. We saw some of the famous ravens who live at the Tower, as well as the Beefeaters (aka Yeoman Warders, which they'd rather be called . . . ahem) and the Crown Jewels. Let me tell you, I loved seeing the Crown Jewels! Not only are they some of the most valuable and beautiful gems on earth, but they also carry a rich history of pomp and circumstance . . . and I'm a pomp-and-circumstance kind of girl! Of course, we couldn't take any pictures, so feel free to visit the links so you can see them yourself! I think Wesley's favourite part of the Tower of London was the White Tower, which houses four floors of historic English items, including a display of Royal Armouries. There were life-size models of various armours on their warriors atop horses. Let me just say that Henry VIII was quite a large man!

The entrance to the Tower of London
We took a break part-way through our tour to sit down for tea at one the coffee shops. I have always heard of scones and clotted cream, but just that word "clotted" kind of turned me off from trying it. Well, this was the day I was going to try it. And I am so glad I did! It's delicious! It tastes much like  butter, but it has a creamier consistency than butter. You can see the little tub of clotted cream  next to my plate, and some on the scone I was eating. I felt very English!

We had a traditional English lunch of fish and chips outside the Tower while we fended off the birds. I think they wanted our chips (fries)!

Monday night was time to relax and just enjoy ourselves. Which we did. Very much.

What interests you most about the Tower of London?

Trip of a Lifetime!
South Africa
London - Windsor Castle
London - Tower Bridge
London - Tower of London
London - Buckingham Palace
London - Westminster Abbey and Churchill War Museum
London - Bunhill Field


  1. I think if I were ever to take a trip like that, I'd have to start training ahead of time by walking every day - or else I'd be in big trouble!

    I had that same exact thought about clotted cream! It sounded like cottage cheese or lumpy cream cheese to me. I am glad that's not the case!

    I've never really had a desire to go to England, but you're starting to stir that up in me!

    1. I was already exhausted when we got to London, after flying 11 hours overnight from South Africa. Then we took the subway and trains to our hotel and walked from the train station to the hotel. We went the wrong direction initially, so that increased our walking time. So I started out on the wrong foot, so to speak. Later we learned the easiest way to get to the train station and which trains to take - and realized we'd gone about the whole thing wrong, taking way more time than it should have. But that's the life of a tourist, right?

      If you ever get a chance to try clotted cream, you should do it! It's delicious. But then, I love creamy things.

      I hadn't really thought much about England, other than wanting to see some castles and the English countryside. But I loved London. I liked it far more than Paris, if you can believe that! There's so much to do and see in London!

  2. That really was a trip of a lifetime! I love the European poppies, they grow everywhere here. BTW, do you have a bucket list? Your trip would mark off most of mine!


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