It is dark and dreary in Oklahoma this morning so of course, my thoughts turned to London.
[bctt tweet=”It is dark and dreary in Oklahoma this morning so of course, my thoughts turned to London. ” username=”reddirtramblin”]
The photo, above, is one of my all-time favorites from our trip. Bill and I set off almost every evening on our own, and we had a couple of free days to explore too. We’re quite the adventurers, and one night we walked all over the shopping district of London. We were trying to have tea at Harrod’s and maybe again at Selfridge’s all in one afternoon and evening. We had tea at Harrod’s. Then, we set off on foot to Selfridge’s.They are very far apart, and it took us awhile. We had dinner there. I caught the double-decker bus and London cab as we waiting on the very busy corner.
[bctt tweet=”I caught this double-decker bus and London cab as we waiting on the very busy corner. The Union Jack really set everything off don’t you think?” username=”reddirtramblin”]
It was an Instagram moment to be sure. We were also trying to get to the Apple store because I needed a battery backup. I now have two which is good because we’re on the road again this spring. I can’t say where yet, but I’ll share on our return.
We found London a very friendly city and easy to navigate. We rode the Tube all the time from station to station and felt like we fit in pretty well. Londoners don’t talk to each other on the Tube. Not at all. They are unfailingly polite, but they don’t even look at each other much. I guess it’s a big city thing. Victoria Station was our hub, and we always worked back to it. Then, to get to our hotel, we rode the bus to Tooting Station. I kid you not.
Another day, Bill and I had some free time so we visited the Tower of London. The rest of our group did other excursions. We both truly wanted to see it so we headed out on the Tube and eventually got there. I guess I always thought it was simply a tower, but it isn’t. It was a fortress and castle with a large wall surrounding it. If I’m remembering correctly, there are four towers, one being the bloody tower where the princes were probably murdered by the Duke of Gloucester, later crowned King Richard III. I find history fascinating, and I’d read a lot about the sad story of the princes. This is also where Anne Boleyn was kept before her execution. Remember when I wrote about visiting her childhood home, Hever Castle? The other night Bill and I watched the second episode of the Six Wives of Henry VIII, and they showed Anne’s castle. Bill and I both yelled out, “We’ve been there!”
Because of Henry VIII’s persecution of the Catholic Church, there is a lot of Catholic history in the tower too including Henry Walpole’s carvings. It was all so interesting and sad.
Did you know the crown jewels are in the Tower of London? It’s a very popular attraction and no wonder. We visited at a good time. It was really cold that day, and the line was short. Hint: Don’t buy tickets from all the hawkers outside the wall. Instead, buy them at the official spot just inside.
As a group, we later did a daily tour that included the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and Westminster and St. Paul’s Cathedral. We weren’t supposed to get to see the changing of the guard, but it just worked out that we did. It was one of my favorite days. Bill loved Westminster. I may have a few pictures of it too. I liked it, but there just wasn’t enough time to see everything. It is huge!I
I hope you enjoyed traveling with me to London today. I’ll try to share pics from Blenheim Castle next. Happy Sunday my friends!