Another early start, walking through the banking district where my hotel is, in a sea of Christian Grey's in business suits on their way to work in the morning. I have not seen so many handsome men in my life. I took the Circle line east and got off at Tower Hill around 830 am to find that when I walked the short distance to the admission gates, that there was already a line up to buy tickets when they opened at 9 am. I was smart to come early though, As the first Yeoman Warder (Beefeater) tour didin't start till 10 am at the front gates. I explored around a bit, and walked first to the Crown Jewels, and bypassed a huge lineup to be had later on. It was a bit funny being just me and a few other people standing on sliding walkways that force people along when the crowds are too much. Better look good, cause you are moving!! I made my way back to the front gates and watched children play in the green grass that used to be the moat of the Tower of London. Our Yeoman started our tour of about 150 people with a loud voice with comical fits of shouting that scared the school age children. He said it was one of the fun parts of his job. Yeoman Warders need to have at least 22 years of military service and reach the rank of Warrant Officer and be between the ages of 40 and 55 years of age. There is a team of 34 men and one woman who actually live at the tower of London. We toured around without going into any of the buildings, learning the history as we went along.
One interesting story was of the disappearance and supposed murder of King Edward the IV two sons after he died in 1483. The two boys, 12 yr old Edward V and 9 yr old Richard were put in the Tower and then they disappeared. Their Uncle, Richard the III then became king. In 1674 the skeletons of two boys were found hidden under a staircase in the White tower. In 1933 the skeletons were forensically re-examined the bones and were determined to be around the ages of 10 and 12 years. I really enjoyed spending some time leaning about the history of the Tudors and the TV show came to mind a few times for me.
I then made my way on the tube to Kings Cross St.Pancras station to go to Hogwarts. Well not really, there is a photo opportunity when you go to platform 9 and 3/4 . I thought I would snap a photo and leave, but when I got there, there was a line-up! You wear a scarf, hold onto a cart with trunks and a owl cage that is half way though the wall. One person tosses up your scarf while you kick your feet back and the photographer snaps a photo. You then walk two stores down to the Harry Potter Shop and pay 8 pounds if you want a printout of the photo. I smiled the whole time in the lineup watching everyone getting their photo taken.
I then made my way to a Starbucks for a cold drink and to Skype with Ab. Starbucks is awesome for their free wifi they offer, I have tried in pubs and restaurants and you need to send a valid UK phone number to receive a text with the password for the free wifi.
Off to mudlark as the tide was at its lowest. I concentrated on finding stone shot and found seven. I met a girl my age visiting from France for the second time. We chatted and she is going home on Saturday the same as me. She said she would be back Thursday and Friday and that we would probably see each other again.
After dinner I ventured off to Leicester Square to experience some night life. Its a huge square with lots of street performers, broadway play houses and movie theatres. I bought a ticket to see Thriller on Broadway tomorrow night. Sorry, I love Michael Jackson.
I then walked around Chinatown which had so many interesting restaurants, I felt kinda lonely not having Ab with me to share the experience of going to one. There was a lot of peking duck Beijing style. I did a little shopping and bought a chinatown special le sport sac knockoff.
Tomorrow it's Westminster Abbey, and the Pompeii exhibit at the British Museum if I have time.
- Day one Big Ben and pickles on every sandwich
- Day 2 When you sing your pray to God twice
- Day three: Human remains, Shakespeare and warm Beer
- Day 4: Tower of London,off to Hogwarts and shopping in China Town
- Day 5: Diana's funeral, Blame it on the Boogie and The Lettuce and Slug
- Day 6 Victorian-Graves Camden Market and an awesome day of mudlarking