08 February 2006

Tower of London

Hearing: distant traffic, school kids in the nearby souvenir shop, the expresso machine in the kiosk in front of me and people chatting as they walk along the Thames and take photos.


Fair warning, the Tower of London will take time to see if you want to take the time to see as much as possible. Its 14.50 pounds entry and its very interesting. The Yeoman guided tours are good for a bit of fun and history. I didn't know it but to be a Yeoman isn't easy (most are ex-military or navy) and once you apply and are accepted you live on the grounds of the Tower of London - the blue doors are their homes.

Naturally the place looks very different to what it did hundreds of years ago and the feel is different, the ToL was a fortress built to protect the city of London and the White tower, originally a palace, not a prison as I originally thought was home to all sorts of people and practices...It housed the Crown Jewels, the arsenal, mint, had its own zoo and of course its ground saw many an execution take place.

Did you know that it was home to 3 lions, bears and an elephant which for 2 years drank beer before dying? Anyway this is Tower Bridge as seen from the ToL, I really like this pic.

The ToL is now home to several sites/exhibitions including one of the Crown Jewels, the armory where the infamous armory - the butt of one of the favorite jokes of the Yeoman guides is, a church, Beuchamp tower which was home to prisoners and still holds their carvings preserved and translated for visitors, the bloody tower where 2 princes disappeared, Traitors Gate, and lots more.


One thing I didn't do was see the ceremony of the keys, but there's always next time - perhaps when its a little warmer.


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