Sunday, July 12, 2009

London III

On the 4th of July we headed back to London yet again. We got one more day of sight-seeing in and went to the Tower of London. But first we ran into some drama down at King's Cross station. The intersection out front was completely caution-taped off and there were a bunch of police and ambulances and a bright red amulance-helicopter in the middle of the road. Traffic was stopped in every direction and there were massive crowds of people pushed up as cose as they could get to the caution tape. It was a little bit funny to look around and see practically everyone with their hands in the air over the crowd, taking pictures with cell phones. I admit, I did take some pictures myself. Turned out that someone basically got run over by a train and he was airlifted to the hospital. I have no idea what ended up happening to him as I can't find any news articles about it. Poor guy!

The Tower of London was pretty good. The only reason we went is because we got a 2-for-1 deal when we bought our train tickets back to London. So instead of paying £34 we both got in on £17. I thought the best part was the section with the crown jewels. Wow! Not to knock Scotlands, but they were gimpy compared to these. They had quite a few crowns, each one absolutely covered on every inch with jewels - mostly diamonds from what I could tell. And we got to see the actual Koh-i-Noor - not just the replica that's on display in the Natural History Museum in London. This was the real thing, set into the Imperial State Crown. Yeah, so there were some really eye-popping crowns and swords and robes in there. And a very thick set of steel doors.

The other interesting thing was the monument where they think Anne Boleyn was executed. Most executions were held on the "front lawn," but scandalous executions were held inside the walls to avoid riotous behavior. So they built new scaffolding each time since there weren't that many "indoor" executions. They can't be exactly sure that this s the spot, but it's their best guess. there's now a glass pillow on a glass pedastal in her honor as well as others who were killed. A bit solemn.

We also saw a bunch of armor that belonged to King Henry VIII and other people. That's about the extent of the place. Lots of people, a lot of Americans. I'm glad we managed to go before we left, and glad we got a 2-for-1 offer. I really don't think it's worth £17 a person...

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