I had always thought that the Tower of London was just a tower (given its name), so I was rather amused to learn that it was a royal palace and fortress! Before I learned that the Tower of London wasn’t merely a tower, some historical facts hadn’t made much sense. For example, I hadn’t understood why queens would stay in a tower before their coronation. Weren’t prisoners kept there before their beheading? Why would anyone want to stay there if they didn’t have to? Now that I know that the Tower of London is more than just a tower for prisoners, these sort of things have taken a new light.
The Yeoman Warder tour was the most entertaining tour I have ever been on! The guides are nicknamed Beefeaters, and they are great storytellers with dramatic voices. I loved listening to both historical facts and myths while standing at the place they had happened.
There was a long line in front of this building to see the Crown Jewel exhibition, and the line pretty much continues inside the exhibition all the way up to the Crown Jewel display. The Crown Jewels were magnificently decorated with gems and diamonds. The size of the Cullinan diamond was hard to believe! Of course, it must have been bigger before it was cut to have part of it put in the Sovereign’s Sceptre and the other in Imperial State Crown. I had mixed feelings about how the crowns were displayed though. They were aligned in a row with an escalator belt on either side. I thought it was a brilliant way to keep people moving, but felt slightly annoyed that I had waited all that time to get a mere passing glimpse at them.
It looks like he’s peeping out from under his bearskin hat! I do wonder if those bearskin hats cause any neck or eye problems. I know that the Korean traditional headdress for queens caused a lot of neck problems due to their weight, even for actors today.
I wonder what the ornament on the side of the bearskin hat means? Perhaps ranking?
The Tower of London is right next to the River Thames where Tower Bridge is located. I think it’s one of the prettiest bridges I’ve ever seen! I didn’t actually get to cross the bridge for lack of time, but I will have to visit again some day. Perhaps go inside and see the exhibit there.
You can also see the city hall across the river. I think the shape looks kind of like a motorcycle helmet. Anyway, I had a wonderful time at the Tower of London. I wish I had cut out more time to see it; 3 hours was not nearly enough!