Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tower Bridge and the Tower of London

Anne drove us from Cheddar back to her home town of St. Albans where we caught a train into London, and then the subway to Tower Hill.

We then caught a taxi to our hotel, rested up, and ventured out into the city to look for the Thames River and Tower Bridge.

We knew we were getting close when we came across these boats.
Like magic, the Tower Bridge was suddenly before us.

The buzz of the city was infectious. We were so excited to finally be in London!

The next morning we walked to the nearby Tower of London which isn't really a tower at all, but a series of fortresses (with towers) built outward around the original fortress. This is the original.This is one of the towers at the back of the original fortress.The outer wall is on the left in this view.
Many prisoners were brought to the Tower of London through this gate, aptly named "Traitor's Gate."

The crown jewels (no pictures allowed) were in this building which was guarded by this rather dour bloke.
We took a free guided tour led by this humorous and informative Beefeater.
We found out that the Beefeaters are an elite part of the British Army and it is quite a privilege to serve at the Tower of London. It happened to be the Queen's birthday so they were wearing their special red uniforms which reportedly cost about 15,000 pounds (~$22,000)!

A large selection of armor and weaponry were displayed inside the original building. This suit of armor was reportedly worn by King Henry VIII himself.
The Tower of London amazed us with its rich history and grand structures. If you're in London definitely check it out!

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