Thursday, 19 April 2012

London - Day 2

 Very glad that I did all my walking around London yesterday cause today the weather was so atrocious! Looking out the window this morning I wondered if it would really be worth the trouble of venturing out into it but I figured I’m not in London for long so may as well and hope that it clears soon.  Bought a London Pass the day before which meant free entry into heaps of places around London, cost about 40 pounds and if you manage to get a few things in it means you save a heap. So had a heap of things to go see today, first stop was Westminster Abbey and I really loved it. The ceilings were amazing and I loved seeing all the tombs of past kings & queens as well as heaps of famous people buried there like Charles Dickens, Issac Newton, Charles Darwin & Churchill amongst heaps others, really gutted I couldn’t take photos in there.
St Pauls Catherdral was next, got out of the tube station and walked to the cathedral in torrential rain, awesome, couldn’t even take photos it was raining so much. At that point I wondered if I should just head home and try again tomorrow but I trudged on and I’m glad I did.  Again with the hundreds of German teenagers, I’m beginning to wonder if when I get to Germany if there will be any Germans left there!!  The best thing about this place was the ceilings, the mosaics were so intricate and colourful and the dome was awesome, made my way up the hundred or so stairs to the whispering gallery. It’s a balcony at the base of the dome and if someone whispers on one side of it you can hear what they say super clear on the other side. Carried on up the stairs, 119 of them to the first outside balcony on the dome, magically the weather cleared for me when I got there and I could see for miles, headed on up again up over a hundred stairs to the second balcony higher up the dome and again the views were awesome. Definitely don’t bother with the London eye, you can see just as far by going to St Pauls and you get a butt and thigh workout in the process!

                                             The rain stopped me doing heaps of things that I really wanted to do but I made sure I got the Tower of London in and saw those incredible Crown Jewels. The history in this place is crazy, so many people were imprisoned, tortured and executed here, in the rooms where they held prisoners there were etchings in the walls by the prisoners telling their stories. Examples of the types of tortures they had included a device that would squash you into a crouched position and they reckoned people wouldn’t last longer than an hour in that thing. Then there was the most common device, the rack, where your arms and legs are pulled in opposite directions until your joints are pulled out of their sockets.

They now have a memorial in the place where the executions occurred, but they do have the original block used for some of the executions and the mask used by the executioner. 

 The Crown Jewels were as magnificent as I expected, the diamond at the end of the scepter is huge and the diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires on the crowns are so stunning. The armory was impressive, they hold all the old armour of Kings from donkeys ago, heaps of swords and weapons too. 

By the time I got out of there it was about 4pm so wasn’t much left on my to-do list that I could get done, but the London Bridge Experience and Tombs were still going to be open.

Normally costing 23 pounds to get into, I thought that this should be good, was told that I would hear all about the history of the bridge etc but unfortunately all I was told was that it got burnt down a couple of times and that was about it. Then you got taken through a ‘scary’ ride thing, where you have to put your hands on the persons shoulder in front of you and walk through some dark rooms with heads etc handing off the walls and some people jump out at you every now and then. Then randomly they put a spinning tunnel with fluorescent paint on it and UV lights that you have to walk through, which was cool and made you feel like you were falling over but had absolutely nothing to do with London Bridge. So all in all, definitely not worth the money.

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