02 February, 2013

Today was a pretty full day even if I only managed to visit a couple of places.  I started the morning with the Tower of London.  Last time I was here I just went to a few of the exhibits.  This time, I feel like I covered the whole tower.  All in I spent about three hours here.  The first hour was on one of the free Yeoman tours.  I may have done this when I was young, but I don't remember it.  I have to say, it was a good tour; funny and engaging. 

Sadly you can't take any pictures of the crown jewels, but they were spectacular as always.
Here is the Bloody Tower where the famous Two Princes were held captive.

And here is the Queen's house where Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard were held before they were executed on the tower green.

This is the Traitor's Gate where prisoners were brought into the tower.

And the famous Ravens.  Legend has it that when all the ravens are gone, the White Tower will crumble and it will be the end of the monarchy.  Nowdays, they clip their wings to keep them from leavings.
I've had such good luck with the weather.  It's made for some amazing phtoos.

In that last photo, the building on the left with the columns and statues is the monument on Tower Hill. That's where the regular executions were held. 

I was fascinated to know that the Yeoman or Beefeaters as they're called actually live in the Tower with their families.  Our tour guide mentioned that he has two teenagers and a couple of younger kids.  Can you imagine telling people you live in the Tower of London?  I was then interested in the 'cottages' where they live.
Next I was off to St. Paul's Cathedral with a quick stop at the Millennium Bridge.

And St. Paul's Cathedral.

Sadly you aren't allowed to take photos inside the cathedral.  I've pulled a couple of good ones from the web to help explain how I spent two hours wandering around inside.

After that I decided to just walk down Fleet Street.  I passed several interesting pubs and stopped in at the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.  It's a pub that was rebuilt after the great London fire and has been going strong since 1667.  Supposedly people such as Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Alfred Tennyson and Arthur Conan Doyle have all been in there.

After a couple of whiskeys I peeked into a few others including the Tippery which survived the London fire as it was made of stone.  I also passed quite a troupe of New Zealanders who seemed to be hyped up about rugby starting.  I finally settled at the Punch Tavern for dinner and a couple of pints.
I then tried to return to my current neighborhood of White Chapel and finish the evening at the Good Samaritan.  Sadly, Friday night seems to be the right night there as it was almost completely empty.  Clearly I'm doing the pub crawl wrong. LOL oh well next time.  Now I'm off to bed.  I'm not sure yet what I'm going to be doing tomorrow, but there are several good things on the to see list.  Night all!

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