Saturday, September 22, 2012

Loving London

After visiting our relatives in Germany we stopped in London for a week before heading back over th pond.  One of the things I distinctly remember is that our hotel room was rather small and that the door to the bathroom would hit the toilet if you tried to open it all the way!  London was a really fun place to visit and we hit up a bunch of the main tourist sites.

Once again, I don't remember the ordered that we visited places in, but I'll start with the tower of London.  This is the castle where many famous people have been held prisoner and executed.  It is also located right by the London Bridge, which makes for some great pictures and really convenient sightseeing!

The Beefeaters (see the first picture below if you don't know who I'm talking about) lead tours of the grounds, but I think you can walk around the grounds alone as well.  The tower is still considered an official royal residence so you will also see the Scots Guards (the guys with the tall furry hats) patrolling the area.  An interesting bit of trivia about the tower is that there is a superstition that "if the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away the monarchy will fall and Britain with it".  Therefore there are a group of ravens that are kept on the grounds of the Tower at all times.  When we visited there was also a couple of guys demonstrating old style (medieval perhaps?) warfare.

Another site we visited was Westminster Abbey.  This is a burial place for many famous people in English history and also a popular wedding spot for the royal family (William and Kate were wed here).  The church was constructed in the Gothic style and is very impressive to behold.

We were also able to see Big Ben, the Parliament Building, and the London Eye, but I don't recall doing much of anything in or around them.

Finally, we also visited the Imperial War Museum which is an excellent museum that houses many artifacts from the wars that the UK has been involved in.  The most memorable exhibits for me where the Blitz Experience one and the Holocaust one.  The Blitz Experience puts you in a fake bomb shelter and then gives you the experience of being bombed and then seeing the destruction that has been caused afterwards.  I remember it being a very intense thing to go through.  The Holocaust exhibit is also extremely well done and complemented our visited to Buchenwald well.  Again, these reminders were difficult to read about and look at, but it is important that we remember and prevent these types of atrocities.

London is a great city to visit and it is definitely on our list to go to soon (as soon as the exchange rate is more favorable!).  There is tons to do here and so many iconic things to see so it would be very hard to not find something for everybody.

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