Honeymoon Tour - London: Day Three

Our third day in London proved to be an absolutely gorgeous day. Is it odd to you that I didn't notice it rain at all during our time in London?? Anyway, we spent day three doing some historic exploring and filling ourselves to the max on tea. We started at the Tower of London, which was a short walk from our hotel. By the way, The Tower of London is not just a tower. It's like a little community of buildings ranging from old, very old, and ruins.  
One of the first things we saw when we entered the tower was "Traitor's Gate," where the various prisoners would arrive. In case you didn't know, tower prisoners included Anne Boleyn, Sir Walter Raleigh, and even Elizabeth I.
I think it's safe to say that's not a gate I would want to come through! 
Next up was the White Tower, which to be honest was the first thing I noticed and is the most attention-demanding building inside.
The White Tower was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 (uhm, wow!). Fun fact, the staircase (you can see it in the photo above) was made of wood so that if the tower was ever under siege they could burn the stairs and there would be no way for people to get in. Good to know. Fortunately, we were assured that the stairs would not be burned while we were inside.
The White Tower has also served as an armoury, treasury, prison, menagerie, Royal Mint, public record office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of London (though now they are on their own about fifty feet away). It was also believed to be where the "two princes in the tower" were killed and it is also the site of executions and imprisonments of Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey, and Sir Walter Raleigh. Hence the nickname Bloody Tower. 

The Tower of London still houses the Crown Jewels (which you can't take photos inside UGH) but the jewels are not located in the White Tower anymore. The crown jewels were so neat and some were SO SO beautiful that I reallllly wanted to take photos of everything. I learned my lesson in Buckingham Palace though and I wasn't going to mess with the Beefeaters at the Tower of London. So I left my phone in my purse and just walked around the jewels. Turns out there is much more than just jewels and crowns inside. They have Maces and the items used to carry and distribute the oil for coronations. So cool!  Also, the State Sword of Ireland was out being used on the day we walked through. We were told that if an item was missing that it was out on official business. I have to ask though -- what official business required the Sword of Ireland?? Fascinating.

My sister told me to look for the ravens at the Tower of London. Legend has it that if the ravens ever to leave the Tower of London, the White Tower would crumble and a great tragedy would befall England. At first I was disappointed to see cages for the ravens, but then I realized the cages were open to the outside and the birds could move freely. I saw one proudly sitting at the top of the cage. 
On the other side of the community is a bunch of tudor style homes. In fact, these are the only remaining original tudor style homes in England because the rest burned in the Great Fire. One of the tudor homes is the "Queen's Residence." Your know, in case Her Majesty ever decided to have a sleepover or something. See the right most windows? That is where Anne Boleyn stayed before her coronation...and then a few years later before her execution.  Yikes.
The little red fleck you see by the tree in the photo is a guard. The Queen's Residence is guarded at all times, even when no royalty is present, which is pretty much always. We also learned about the Ceremony of the Keys, which occurs nightly.

After the Tower of London we walked over to Tower Bridge. You can see how close together they are!
Tower Bridge was really neat because you could walk across the upper part (you can see in the photo above) above the cars and water. Here's another photo of me hamming while Andrew is....doing something. 
I feel like Tower Bridge is one of the most recognizable spots in England. Everyone has seen this bridge before.
We went up into the top level where you could walk across and portions of the floor were see-through! They were made of a material that was strong enough to hold 6 elephants. I took a selfie and used the mirrored ceiling for a variety of photos.  It looks like we're floating.
 
We then stopped by the boiler room which housed all the old mechanics for raising the bridge. Now the bridge is raised by more modern means but Andrew wanted to see all the old stuff. The gears were HUGE but oddly enough I don't have any photos. Afterwards, we decided to act like Brits and go for some tea.

Let me just say, if you go to London be sure to book a tea tasting somewhere. You will not regret it. We booked ours at Fortnum & Mason's Tea Salon. How cute is this table?!
The menu had all the tea and tea sandwich choices. Andrew went with the sweet option and I went with the savory selection. Look how happy he as among his tea and tea sandwiches, scones, and desserts! See that three-tired tower of deliciousness? We EACH got one. We were in foodie heaven.  
And bonus points, everything was replenishable! So, I could have eaten 40 tea sandwiches and all would have been fine. Don't worry, I did not eat 40 tea sandwiches. But how cute is this ceasar salad in an egg cup with cheese straw? Adorable. And very delicious!

I think that's all we did on day three in London. We walked around a bit more after our tea extravaganza but we were really feeling tired (and full!) so we ended up just going back to the hotel, cracking open some of our French champagne, and calling it a night.  

See what we were up to on day four in London when I post next time! We're headed back to Kensington Palace!

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