Sunday, November 25, 2012

Traitors, Beheading, the Crown Jewels and... Fish?

Today I was able to let out my inner history nerd by visiting the Tower of London, and my inner child later when I visited the London Aquarium!

I went to the Tower by myself, since all of my friends visited it during Reading Week when I was in Germany. I really enjoyed the walk to the Tower, because I was able to walk on the coolest bridge in London (my opinion, at least).

I purchased an audio guide for my visit of the Tower, which I really enjoyed. There were five tours that you could listen to and they delved into the history of the different parts of the Tower, like how it's been used as a jail, castle, and storage area. Speaking of, I got to view the Crown Jewels today and let me say... they are just as beautiful as you'd expect! I walked around for a good two hours and saw and learned so much. 

This is Traitor's Gate, where prisoners would arrive by boat to be put in the Tower. Anne Boleyn would come through her the day before her coronation and only three years later, as a "traitor" to her husband.

This is a statue of a King Henry III's polar bear. 
Yes, the king had a pet polar bear.
He kept it on a long leash so it could go fishing in the Thames.

King Henry III's throne that stands in the meeting hall of St. Thomas's Tower. Henry and his son Edward I built the medieval castle that is part of the Tower and was used by many monarchs as a place of residence and business.

This is a monument honoring those who were executed in the Tower itself. Most prisoners were executed on Tower Hill. Some of the privileged prisoners to be executed here include Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey.

After the Tower I grabbed some lunch and ate at a beautiful park across the street. Then, I made my way to the London Aquarium where I met up with my friends Matt and Kalee. I didn't get any pictures at the Aquarium, because my camera is broke and I couldn't tell if they were turning out well enough. But my friend Matt got some really great ones and I'm going to steal them from him! The Aquarium was super cool; I got to see sea turtles, and Nemo's, and penguins!

Overall, it was a really great day in London! It's days like today that make me never want to leave :)

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