Well, after falling asleep exhausted after our first day of touring London, we woke for a new day of adventure! We took the “Tube” closer into the sites and then the bus to Tower of London, an historic castle, palace, prison, and home for the Crown Jewels (photos NOT allowed), right on the Thames River.
This is the “White Tower”, 90 feet tall, built by William I, “The Conqueror”, between 1077-1097. The castle complex has 20 towers over 18 acres.
Sculptures of “Royal Beasts” which were kept on the castle grounds (The REAL animals were gifts to the kings and often on display for guests).
The Kings’ bedchamber and throne for visiting with dignitaries, below.
One of the many story tellers in the castle area, delighting these kids with tales of battle and life in that time.
Walls of the Tower of London with the Tower Bridge (an hydraulically powered drawbridge) in the background.
Entrance to the Crown Jewels (above), exhibiting 23,578 gems. The Sovereign’s Scepter holds the world’s largest cut diamond, the 530-carat Star of Africa, weighing about 1/4 pound. The Crown of the Queen shows the 106-carat Koh-I-Noor diamond. (Replica of an Imperial crown below).
The Traitor’s gate (used since before 1544) opened to hold prisoners until they were executed in the middle of the castle complex including Queen Anne of Boleyn and Sir Thomas More. It was built by Edward I to provide a water gate entrance to the castle.
The chapel inside the Castle complex
After our Tower of London experience, we went back out on the streets of London, to experience more of Great Britain! (PART walking and part on a half day bus ride).
Great names for bars over here!! (Above and below!)
The London Railway station
City Hall on Thames River
Views of the Golden Jubilee Bridge, also called Charing Cross bridge, with pedestrian walkways across the Thames.
Steve liked the cute little taxi’s!!
Lamp post designs along the Thames Riverwalk
The Shaftesbury Memorial fountain in Piccadilly Circus plaza.
Above and below are Trafalgar Square. This statue is of Charles Napier, commander-in-chief in India.
Above is Nelson’s Column: the 170 foot Corinthian column commemorating the victory of Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson over the French fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805.
This 7 foot dragon boundary mark is a cast iron statue that marks the boundaries of London! (sorry for the blur, the bus was too fast for me!)