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Ouatic-7 [userpic]
V+2: The Tower and Midnight Bells (Pics!!!)

While nokomarie went to Stone Henge (I wondered where she'd gotten to), the rest of us did the Tower.

pilgham and I went to the Tower once long ago (circa 1982). For a structure as old as the Tower it is surprising how much has changed since then. pilgham noticed areas which were now open that were not open to the public then. I noticed traffic flow improvements: you are now moved past the Crown Jewels on a conveyor at a brisk yet stately pace and the stairway in the Bloody Tower used to be 2 way. I well remember sharing it school kids with clipboards. 

The Tower has now an award winning lavatory. One of the ladies' facilities has received Loo of the Year multiple times. According to pilgham, the corresponding men's has not received a similar honor. And, no, I'm not fixated on plumbing. Really.

We dutifully did the jewels but I think the armory was enjoyed more by our happy little family. MD lusts after a bill ("One of the more interesting and complicated looking pole arms was the bill, a favored weapon of the English based on an agricultural tool that was primarliy used for pruning trees and is still in use today. Its broad curved blade with numerous hooks and projections made it an ideal weapon for dragging horsemen from the saddle and inflicting a wide variety of ghastly wounds upon its victims, making it especially popular with the footsoldier."). I took the requisite pictures of the volley gun and Baker Rifle and also this arrmor given to James I by Benitora from Samurai Deeper Kyo:

Also Henry VIII's armor that caught my eye for obvious reasons:

And here is MD, looking MD-y, and pilgham, looking pilgham-y:

I was up again in the middle of the night so I was awake when the fire alarm went off. It stopped before I managed to wake MD but, better safe than sorry, I still chivvied her out doors "Don't stop to put your shoes on until we're out." Naturally, we were the only ones out there but I figure it is a good drill. My first trip to corporate was 2 weeks long and the fire alarm went off 3 times, once when I was asleep and once when I was in the shower. I got good at grabbing clothes and getting out.


Excellent! Pictures! I didn't expect to see posts until you were back home. The suit of armor pic impressed me as well. MD and Plgham look all smiley.

As for the fire alarms, I'm sure Noko has something to do with it. You should zip her up in the bag at night to ensure everyone has a proper rest.

I'm sure you are right. Noko was probably having a drink with the night manager who has a lovely voice. But, remember, she got that 3-in-1 oil so she could escape?

These things happen when you have a gremlin along for the ride.

Ack, clicked before I could add - 'Hope you guys have a great time sightseeing today'

i am thankful that people enjoy the plumbing. putting in piping can be such a demeaning job.

glad to see Henry VIII was good in protecting "the crown jewels"

Plumbers, the unsung heroes of the Industrial Revolution, without whom we would not have today's great cities.

The fire alarm was in my way while climbing up the wall in the bar to reach the Bombay Gin. Not my fault.

I did check out the water gate at the Tower but taking a boat ride under London Bridge was lots more fun.

My, you were a busy girl, Stone Henge and a boat tour!

Looks like Old Henry was a man that needed some room.

.....or wanted to think he did!

ooo. we get updates live - how cool is that? i love the Tower armory and i agree, the jewels are nice but a conveyer belt sounds like the best way to see them - quickly.

"Loo of the year" that is TOO funny. and leave it to you to choose that little detail to share!

keep having fun and reporting back when you can!

The prettiest crown they had was designed by an 11 year old for a competition in 2000.

Sad to say, I am somewhat of a lavatory aficionado.

okayyyyy. i don't know whether to request more lavatory updates or not......

They now have a conveyor belt down in the vault? When I was there last (1993), there was a two-tier observation system. Closest to the glass, keep moving and don't stop to examine. Hop up onto the raised platform further away, and gawk at your leisure. Don't back up too far, or you'll run into the large fellow wearing body armour and toting a sub-machine gun, and seriously lacking a sense of humour. Not to mention a cod-piece like good old Henry. (loved that pic; I thoroughly enjoyed the armoury, too)

And those ravens are down-right nasty!

Did you check out Anne Boleyn's grave? It's very tiny...yes, short by a head or so...

Did not see Anne Boley's grave.

They still have the two tier system. If the conveyor is too fast there is stationary viewing but from behind the conveyor.

More to the point...how's the beer?

Ouatic has left out a bunch of stuff. Main thing, the Tower has had a museum for about 300 years. So you're putting in exhibits about the history of the Tower, which includes 300 years of having exhibits, well you can see the problem. About a third of the White Tower is exhibit exhibit. Favorite moment, I'm standing admiring a painting of an artists conception of a diorama of Queen Elizabeth I of which only Bess's head remains. Another tourist, possibly Noko, strides up, stares, and declares "It ees an uglee head!" and strides off.

I was first taken there to see the Crown Jewels when I think I was about 10. I remember Ravens and lots and lots of wall displays of weapons. Just tons. A lot of that is gone except as part of the exhibit exhibit.

Only one guy with a gun. Lots of terribly jolly, really, really, really big guys in funny costumes. I felt like I was 10 again. I think the actual cost of the security system on the Crown Jewels probably exceeds their value though.

The Crown Jewels conveyer belt sounds as if it should be a Disneyland ride - whee! I didn't realize the Tower had been a museum for so long. I imagine it's getting a festive air after all this time and maybe that explains the funny costumes.

I remember from years back how the old cannons had a sort of eaten away look. What I never knew was a storehouse where they were displayed had burned down in 1841. Prior to that it was huge tourist attraction charging 2p to get in. After the fire, lots of guns (the pistols and rifles especially) had been reduced to bits of twisted metal and these were auctioned off as souveniers for prices up to a pound (240 pence) and people made them into candlesticks and stuff.

The old guns would have been interesting, shame. I'd like to have one of those candlesticks, but I wouldn't be able to tell the difference if it someone sold me a dud.