When I last left off, we were getting a good night’s sleep for another busy day. We woke up well rested and excited to explore! The rough part was the weather; it was definitely the coldest, rainiest day we experienced in
England EngLANGd. Naturally, we decided that meant it was the best day to experience an almost entirely outdoor attraction, The Tower of London. Obviously, a great decision.
We took the tube across the city and arrived to the dreary looking palace. Even though the weather wasn’t very enjoyable, I think it did add to the ambience of the Tower. Since this was a site where many beheadings, imprisonments, and acts of torture took place, the overcast, rainy day definitely aided in setting the mood.
We stayed protected under the umbrella taking selfies and snapshots throughout the spacious grounds. Much of our tour included hiking up several of the towers to see and read about what they had been used for during the Tower’s 1000-year history.
Throughout the Tower there were several chicken wire sculptures of various animals. They were such amazing sculptures, and they represented many of the species that lived in the Royal Menagerie in the past. Over the years, they had monkeys, elephants, tigers, lions, kangaroos, and more! There was even a polar bear that was tied to a long rope and allowed to go fishing in the Thames in 1252. Can you imagine floating by on a boat and seeing that? Bizarre.
My favorite part of the Tower of London was FOR SURE The Crown Jewels exhibit. The exhibit had scepters, Coronation spoons, tons of regalia, and crowns, crowns, crowns! I wish I could have taken pictures in this exhibit because all of the pieces they had were so elaborate and beautiful! One scepter alone held a diamond that is 530.2 carats. Insane. Everything was exquisite and so uniquely designed. One of the most bizarre things was a stunning crown that was only worn ONCE when the Queen traveled out of the country because none of the crown jewels are allowed to leave the United Kingdom. I thought since they were never planning to use it again, I could have it, but no dice.
After a ton of time in The Crown Jewels exhibit, we braved the rain again. We took a bizarrely happy picture in the torture chamber (below, left), and a quick shot in front of the iconic London Tower Bridge.
I took a spin back around to the Crown Jewels to possibly swipe a few, but upon passing another torture chamber I chickened out.
Another favorite part of ours was the Tower of London Remembers exhibit which featured the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red art installation. 888,246 handmade, ceramic poppies were placed around, under, and over the Tower of London to represent all of the British fatalities in World War I. The visual impact was stunning and a touching tribute.
The Tower of London was a really amazing place to visit, and I wish we had gone when the weather was more cooperative.
The rain finally did us in, so we snapped a few more selfies, and began the stroll back to the underground to head over to the British Museum.
We decided to mix it up a bit for lunch, and eat fish and chips. (…It’s a joke guys, because we had already eaten so many fish and chips.) Once again, it didn’t disappoint, and once again, we didn’t eat a single pea.
We trekked through the rain a bit further (seriously, it didn’t let up all day), and finally arrived at the British Museum.
Oh my gosh. This place was NOT messing around. Before even considering the amazing collections housed in its walls, the museum stopped us in our tracks with its beautiful architecture. We admired the glass domed ceiling for quite awhile before heading into the Egyptian exhibit.
The sheer size of the museum blew us away the entire time we explored. There was room after room packed wall-t0-wall with priceless artifacts spanning thousands of years.
Plus, all of the pieces were so accessible. We were able to get up close to so many different sculptures and statues.
The overwhelming amount of areas and objects to see made me realize how little of the world I have explored and how little I know of history. It was inspiring and humbling all at once.
I think one of Louis’s favorite parts was the original Michelangelo sketch framed below. As someone who has always been interested in art, I’m sure that was so exciting to see in person. We spent several hours at the museum, but I know we barely scratched the surface of all the things to explore. I’m sure you could visit there daily and still not see all the museum has to offer.
After leaving the museum we were feeling very cultured and full of desire to explore and experience new things…so we ate McDonald’s for dinner.
After dinner, we strolled along the Thames and enjoyed London all lit up for the evening. It truly is a beautiful city.
Louis took the panoramic picture below to show the proximity of our hotel to Big Ben. You could literally see it from the lobby! It was the perfect location for our trip.
On that note, another long, day had come to an end in London Town. We curled up in our cozy bed, watched a bit of British television, and drifted off.
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