Monday, 20 September 2010

London Impressions no. 5

This is how it works. I'd like to write a travel journal about my vacation in London but as it is already over and I had no permanent Internet access there I'm going to write them like a memoir. Every day (since Thursday) I'll post on my impressions of the day exactly one week ago. All in all I will have six posts on my travels. I hope you'll like it although it is mainly of personal value as I'd like to preserve my experiences.

One week ago...

I wanted to visit the Tower of London. And that is exactly what I did then. Entrance queues on a Monday morning were small contrary to all I have heard of those queues. A Monday morning is as well a good pick as the Tower opens at 10 am instead of 9 am which gives you one more hour to beat the queues which weren't there. Oh well, I see in the summer with loads of tourist like myself pouring in the city those could become really long. Enough about queues. After we payed the voluntary donation which is included in the entrance fee and passed the security check of our bags we saw a group led by a yeoman warder starting off. As we wanted to participate in a tour ourselves we went with them. We got to know many things of which most were not as cruel as one always thinks when thinking about the Tower of London.

Yeoman Warder Tour

I'm going to share a little of what I learned that day. In the Tower only seven people have been executed, to whom belonged Anne Boleyn for example as executuins in the Tower were a privilege as it did not took place in public like all the other executions outside the Tower on Tower Hill. Torture is also not a practice which was prominent in England. Quintessence is that the Tower is not as bloody as always believed. But never the less it is a very historical place and made me want to find out more about that time.

View at Tower Bridge from inside the Tower

After the Tower experience we actually wanted to see St. Paul's cathedral to climb it and enjoy the view over London, but as soon as we left the Tower there was rain keeping us company. So we decided to take the bus line no. 15 and ride until it's end and back to St. Paul's. Route 15 is one of only two routes where still the old double decker buses are operating. As we got out at St. Paul's station it still was raining and so we decided to not go inside as it would have cost us £ 12.50 each.

We decided for the Museum of London instead (admission free) and got there at 3.30 pm. We were lucky as the museum announced a tour through the Medieval Galleries at 4 pm. We joined in and got to know about the early London, when everybody lived in wooden houses, later black death and the construction of St. Paul's, later the big fire in 1666 and the reformation under King Henry VIII. The dark ages were not as dark for me anymore. Unfortunately we had only one more hour when the tour ended to have a look at the rest of this fantastic museum. It was my favorite one on the whole vacation and I need to go back and spend a little more time there.

In the evening we went to have dinner in the gbk, the gourmet burger kitchen on Westbourne Grove. As it is New Zealand cuisine, they also served Kiwi burger, which of course did not contain Kiwi birds but was the special burger there. Very delicious! Be sure to take some fries with it and have a L&P soda. Cheers!


  1. Oh goodness you were so busy. You might like the Other Boelyn Sister! By Phillipa Gregory which is a fictionalized account of that time in English history. I loved it.

  2. Guess what I did the other day! I bought The other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance. I can't wait to read it.