The iconic bridge the news flashes on our TV screens every time there is a London story – is the Tower Bridge, not the London Bridge. The photo above was taken from London Bridge, which is right next to it and not nearly as cool. Lore has it that the brick incarnation of London bridge is somewhere in Havisu, Arizona.
Another naïve misperception of London – the Tower of London. Not a tower – but a whole host of towers in a palace complex. Any time I heard the phrase, “locked in the Tower of London” I envisioned a big single tall tower – a la Rapunzel. The reality of the Tower of London is much bigger than expected.
Our visit was great – the preservationist have done an excellent job of preserving and utilizing this unique palace. It is highly functional, not just an old place for gawkers. First and foremost, it is still a dwelling. The tourguides, known as Yeoman, all live on the premise with their families. Isn’t that such a cool address? The test to be a yeoman has to include a creative writing exercise on a story of someone being beheaded – we must have heard a dozen or so.
A building in the complex has a fancy name but it should just be known as the Queen’s Jewelry Box. All the crown jewels are here for the hoards of tourists to view after waiting in Disney-esque lines. They are well guarded by this guy who stands off to the side and gets mocked all day long.
The original palace, or the facsimile of the original palace is the armory museum. We have seen a few of these and this one takes the cake, armour, cannons, swords more looted stuff. It is all in there. They had an exhibit on cool things that wre gifts from other countries. The US gift purchaser should have been fired – the US display was an Indian headdress and arrow-heads. We gave them something we stole from someone else!
You can never have enough swords. or Epees, or Rapiers or whatever the actual term for these are – but there are a lot and so very well organized.
Our wanderings today took us by the Justice building, Twinings Tea (free box of tea with tourist guidebook), Shakespeare’s Globe, the building used for the exterior shots of Gringots from the Harry Potter movies and the Tate Modern. We ended the day at an art museum which instantly deflated Brody. The Tate had some nice pieces but not nearly as interesting as what we have seen in other museums.
These pieces by Mark Rothko are part of a set of 6 that were commissioned by a Four Seasons hotel. Rothko finished and decided they were too important to be in a commercial environment and backed out of the deal. A darkened room with a single bench is, oh, so much better.
This study of the color gray makes for a nice photo. They are a copy of a bust of Nefertiti. The original bust is in a museum in Berlin – Egypt wants it back.