MISHA AND ME ON THE UNDERGROUND
(THIS WAS ACTUALLY TAKEN ON FRIDAY)
We made our altered route and connection without a hitch, and proceeded to go down The Queen's Walk along the River Thames approaching Tower Bridge.
A PRETTY PATTERN ON A BENCH ALONG THE QUEEN'S WALK
VIEW OF TOWER BRIDGE FROM THE QUEEN'S WALK
We walked across Tower Bridge, taking photos pretty much the whole way. (The detail on that bridge is phenomenal!)
KRISTIN ON TOWER BRIDGE, IN FRONT OF THE TOWER OF LONDON
There was a little tour that they had set up that we'd walked past on the bridge,but between the facts that we were bottoming out from our already-busy weekend, stairs were involved, and poor Misha was practically hobbling by that point (her family dog knocked her off the stairs to the pool a matter of days before we left for London, causing it to swell and bruise horribly!), we passed that up and headed straight for the tower.
VIEW OF TOWER BRIDGE FROM IN FRONT OF THE TOWER OF LONDON
ONE OF THE CANNONS IN FRONT OF THE TOWER OF LONDON
PART OF THE PRESENT-DAY MOAT AND TRAITOR'S GATE
(L TO R:) KRISTIN, ME, AND MISHA IN FRONT OF THE TOWER OF LONDON
The Tower of London is quite massive! The title in and of itself is quite misleading...it's less of a single tower, and more of an entire keep!
SIGHT UPON FIRST COMING THROUGH THE MAIN ENTRANCE;
ON THE RIGHT IS THE MEDIEVAL PALACE, ON THE LEFT IS WAKEFIELD TOWER
I hadn't ever looked into it before we went, and I was quite surprised. It's all centered around The White Tower, which was the first part to be built (and incidentally the earliest stone keep in all of England), and the rest of the Tower was built up around it in the following years under different leadership to further fortify it.
ENGLAND'S OLDEST STONE KEEP: THE WHITE TOWER
We spent a fair amount of time in The White Tower alone, as there are many things inside to observe and admire...and even play with! (I love when museums are hands-on!) Most of what was on display was related to armor or weaponry, although there was also some things on the Royal Mint (which used to be located in the Tower of London, but was later moved outside of it).
ARMOR OF HENRY VIII, WHICH EVOKED SOME MILD EMBARRASSMENT
AND A LOT OF SCHOOLGIRL-ISH GIGGLES
A JEWELLED PISTOL; MADE WITH BLUE ENAMEL PANELS,
WHITE GOLD, AND 1,517 DIAMONDS
After making it through The White Tower (and down the never-ending spiral staircase to get back down! LOL), Misha and Kristin reeeeeeeeeeeally wanted to see The Crown Jewels, so we headed over to the Waterloo Barracks, where they're kept. The line appeared to be quite long, but it actually moved fairly quickly. No cameras are allowed inside (and the staff will actually make you delete what pictures you take if you try!), so there are no photos of that, but it was rather pretty...all sparkly like gems tend to be. lol
THE WATERLOO BARRACKS, WHERE THE CROWNED JEWELS ARE HOUSED
And nearby the Tower are a couple of other beautiful buildings that we only saw from afar. We literally spent most of the day in the Tower! If you ever go, make sure to allot the appropriate time for it!
ALL HALLOWS BY THE TOWER CHURCH
THE PORT OF LONDON AUTHORITY BUILDING AT TRINITY SQUARE GARDENS
The route we took back took us across London Bridge (which in my mind was always Tower Bridge, but they are actually different), and from the moment I saw the sign on the under side of London Bridge, the childhood ditty started to go through my head...thankfully, though, London Bridge did not fall down while we were crossing it!
THE SIGN FOR LONDON BRIDGE
That evening, we hit up the nearby grocery store for some crumpets to take home and ate dinner at Garfunkel's and turned in. Our flight the next day didn't leave out until around 3pm, though when we bought our round trip bus tickets to the airport, the guy set us to go on the 10 o'clock bus. We were originally going to try and fit some other things in on Monday morning, but by that point, we were all pretty wiped out and missing our respective husbands and kids. Not only did we not argue the 10 o'clock ride, but we actually ended up on the 9:30! LOL It ended up being a good thing, though, as the lines at the check-in desk were loooooooooooong (we had to get special stamps on our boarding passes, as we were non-EU residents traveling within the EU) and we still had to go through security and what have you.
Overall, I think that it was an AMAZING experience, getting to see London kid-free and with two people that I care about so much. Maybe next time I can catch Phantom of the Opera at the West End and get around to Kensington Palace, not to mention all the rest of the Potter sights!