Tuesday morning we got up early and took the tube to the Tower of London. William the Conqueror built the massive stone tower in the 1080s. It was the first of its kind and for centuries after, successive monarchies added to the fortifications such as the Normans and the Tutors. Everybody remembers Henry VIII right?? Well two of his wives were beheaded at the Tower of London. The Tower of London also houses the crown jewels which were beautiful and just as amazing as you imagine. PS...that was kind of the theme the entire trip. Everything truly was just as amazing as I imagined it would be. Nothing was really a disappointment. The tower of London is also known at the Tower of Terror. Torture really wasnt that prevalent or popular back then (contrary to what we learn in school) but most of the torturing that did happen in London was in here.
See those skinny windows above...those were for bow and arrows.
That's the tower bridge behind us
At one point a polar bear lived at the tower. He was a gift to Henry III from the King of Norway.
What remains of the original tower wall. Oh and yes the grass really is that green everywhere you go. None of these pictures were enhanced. All that rain!
The white tower was the stronghold of the tower and had lodging suitable for the Lords. The tower has been converted into a museum but you could still see the original fireplaces and the original staircase.
King Henry VIII
King Edward VI...the boy king who was crowned at the age of 9!!
King Charles I was the King of England, Scotland and Ireland until he was beheaded for treason!
After spending an hour at the Tower we jumped back on the tube and headed into central London to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. It was really crowded and hard to see so we didnt stay long. We said buh-bye to our travel companions and walked to a cafe in New Scotland Yard where we ate some lunch. After lunch we walked through James Park again, by Westminster Abbey again and to Big Ben.
Then we kept on walking across the Thames then continued down the Queen's walk to the Globe Theater. The walk was long but a really scenic since it was along the Thames and we saw some really cool stuff.
We visited the Globe Theater which is a replica of what they think the theater actually looked like. We learned that the original theater burned to the ground in 1500-something and a church built on top of the ruins. The 500+ year old church is still standing and is a protected historical building so any evidence of what the original globe looks like or was made with is being held hostage beneath that church. The replica is built based on evidence gathered from Shakespeare's plays and any historical data they could find. The tour was really fun and our guide was very knowledgeable.
After our tour we walked across the London Bridge (which is now just a big concrete bridge with lots of traffic) to Monument. We took the tube in Monument to Baker Street where we proceeded to 221B. SHERLOCK HOLMES OF COURSE!! We are big fans so it was fun to pose out front and tour the museum.
We saw Regent's Park but since it was getting dark we walked along Baker Street to Oxford Street through Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus. There were TONS of Christmas lights (and people) it was like 5th ave in NYC.
Every store you could think of. It was neat to see but I was totally over it in about 5 minutes. Too many people for me. We eventually found the Piccadilly Tube station and headed home to Waterloo. That night we grabbed a pizza and some apps from the grocery store (as well as some hard cider...they have it everywhere over there...LOVED that!!) and made dinner at home.
Our last full day (Wednesday) in London we decided to take a day tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath. We saw so much that day, I think that deserves it's own post :)