|Early this a.m. we bought tickets for and boarded the Big Bus. As in Paris it is hop on, hop off. Today we saw more and learned more than had we just taken the tube to the Tower of London. We rode the bus along Baker Street, saw Fleet Street, Soho and Lester Suare, Selfridges, Harrods, revisited Trafalgar Square, went around Hyde Park twice, Notting Hill, the Marble Arch and more. At the Tower of London we hopped off. This is a walled fortress built by William the Conqueror starrted in 1068. We had lunch at the Tower of London and then explored the White Tower.
Inside are the Kings' Line. There are wooden horses in full armor ridden by ancient kings also in full armor. Various parts of the armor are shown to help see the different parts. Arms are shown and explained.
We also saw the crown jewels. Tne Cullodin diamonds and the Koh i Nor diamond are beautiful. Their size makes them unique. Sapphires, amythysts, rubies and pearls along with emeralds....stunning. Velvet crowns studded with gems, maces, and scepters. So much!
We also went into the Fuselage Museum. Medals, armoury, uniforms, were intetesting.
After we walked the short distance to the Tower of London Bridge. We had driven across in the bus. Now we went up in the north tower and walked across to the south tower. Of course we visited the engine room to see how the London Bridge was raised. This Gord found especially intetesting epecially as we could see how large the barious components were. After we walked back across the bridge and caught the blue Big Bus again to drive along the Thames River past Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, a covered Big Ben...he's under construction...and eventually to the Mews og Buckingham Palace.
We hopped off here and saw the Mews. The horses are on holiday at Windsor Castle...with the Queen. But the various coaches were on display along with one of the royal cars. The most opulent coach was one of gold made for a young king...Edward III I think. But it was so detailed it took two years to make.
It seemed to take forever to get back to Paddington Station as we wound around Hyde Park and Kensington Palace were Prince William and Kate live...a 3rd boy born yesterday. (Westminster 's bells rang for 3 hours!)...Spring flowers are everywhere and beautiful. Little gardens seemed to ppear everywhere....even on window sills.
Once back we went into Dicken's Tavern...the longest pub in London. It is long and narrow. We sat next to a young Italian from Naples with an Australian lady from Adelaide. They now live in London....but like to travel. After fish and chips and a beer we went home.