Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 5 (posted on day 6): Tower of london

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that today’s post will actually be about what we did yesterday, which happened to be a visit to the Tower of London, beachcombing for treasure, and checking out Harrods.

We started out the day at the Tower of London, which is basically a big castle/fortress in east London that still houses the Crown Jewels, some of the Royal Armaments, and is famous for the beheadings of many people including one Anne Boleyn.


The Tower of London is that castle in the middle of the picture but as small as it looks here, it’s actually huge. It contains 20 towers, a moat, tower wall and a castle in the middle. The men who take care of the castle are the Yoeman Warders, also known as Beefeaters, and they still live right on the grounds of the tower. Continuing on the Henry VIII vein of history, we got to see where Thomas More and John Fisher were held before they were beheaded. We saw where Lady Jane Grey and her husband Guilford Dudley were kept before their beheading, and we saw lots of 500 year old graffiti written on the walls. We walked up to Tower hill where all the chops happened. We also toured the Royal Chapel and saw where Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were buried under the altar. The best part of our day at the tower was touring the Henry VII exhibit that included a bunch of King Henry’s actual armor and weaponry. Mind you this armor is 500 years old and just beautiful with all the detail and engraving. Chris had such a good time seeing the full body armor on display. Again, no photographs allowed but a fantastic exhibit. Also really awesome was seeing the actual crown jewels. We’re talking the actual crowns of the kings and queens! We got to see the coronation crown and the official state crown. We saw the sceptor and orb, and a 500 carat diamond. Talk about bling bling. After the Tower of London, we took some pictures of the Tower Bridge.


See that bridge behind us. That is the Tower Bridge and was built sometime in the 1800’s. It is NOT London Bridge as you will find when you google. Trust me on this.










I know this looks like an odd picture to put here, but let me explain. Chris had been reading a bit about how people collect these old clay pipes that men smoked in the 1600’s and 1700’s. They would smoke the pipe, then toss it right into the Thames. So imagine over a couple hundred years how many pipes there must be. Now people comb the beach for these pipes and collect them. So, yesterday afternoon at low tide we made our way down onto the beach of the River Thames and these are some of what we found. The long skinny things are pipe stems. Once you see one on the beach you see them everywhere. What’s really difficult to find is the intact “bowl” of the pipe. You see there’s one fully intact 3rd down on the left side, and also on the top right. Depending on the size, shape and markings on the bowl, you can actually date when these pipes were made. They even have a few on display at the London museum. Also littered along the beach with the stones, sand, pipe stems, are lots of broken dishes that can date back quite far, and lots of bones from animals that were cooked way back in the 1600’s or 1700’s. We steered clear of the bones but we did also pick up some pieces of old dishes. If you are interested in the clay pipes at all, just google “mudlarking”.


We finished up the day at Harrods just to see what all the hype was about. We pretty much walked through one entrance, through the store and out the other entrance. It’s basically just a super expensive designer department store which doesn’t interest either one of us. The building sure is pretty though. We were really struggling yesterday with our sore feet and legs so we called it a night early and were back to the room by about 9pm. Chris sucks it up better than me but there’s no doubt he was hobbling a bit from time to time. I think both of us will be happy to be off our feet for the flight home tomorrow. We walked for about 12 hours a day for the last 6 days….our feet need a rest.

And on that note, so do I! We have to be up at 4am to be out and on the way to Heathrow by 5am so I’d better get a little rest. I have at least 2 more posts coming so don’t go away just because we’re heading home. I’ll be back here again tomorrow night.

I'll leave you with this preview of tomorrow. Stick around until the end and you might get a surprise. Night!


  1. I am still laughing.....LOVE IT!!
    That was great.

    Hey! nice jacket!

  2. Ingrid I laughed so hard I choked on my saliva. That was one of your more spectacular moments. How did you do that? You are so under appreciated. After reading your blog I'm even more impressed by your many talents. I look forward to tomorrow's report. Enjoy your remaining time in England and start planning your next trip!! Tell Chris he's a lucky guy.

  3. I watch your video a second again!

  4. Haha, I guess you liked the surprise!



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