Saturday, July 09, 2011

[L.E.P.A.K series: London] Chap 8: Tower of London

Woohoo! Was MIA for almost a month *grins* Was busy planning and jetting off again to complete the K in the L.E.P.A.K series with the family. Yup! That marks the end of this year's holiday spree. Now it's time to be a good girl, sit at home, edit photos and blog about the experience, so that I get to share with others and reminisce these cherished memories once more later on in life.

So Here We Go!

From Edinburgh, we arrived back to London at around seven in the morning. We then headed back to the hotel for a change of clothes and to fall flat on the bed for an hour or so. *phew* That’s the life of budget-ty traveling.

Finally, we headed out to our first stop for the day – Tower of London! At first, we decided to ride the tube to Elephant & Castle and walk from there. The plan was to pass by Manzes to have ourselves some Richmond Eel Pie and Marsh for breakfast. Yum! Unfortunately, we kinda lost our way around and in the end, went back to Elephant & Castle and ride the tube direct to Tower Hill. :( Not only did we not get to eat our intended breakfast but we even wasted half an hour getting lost. *double boo-hoo*

And finally, we’re here!
That’s Cik Anai doing the “I just won the lottery” pose with our tickets.

Upon stepping into the fort, a Yeoman Warder greeted us. Yeoman Warders is also popularly known as Beefeaters. Amusing isn’t it? The exact reason behind this name is unknown, though it is believed that the name came about due to the fact that these Yeoman Warders were paid part of their salary in chunks of beef.

The Beefeaters are the ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London and in principle are responsible for looking after any prisoners at the Tower and safeguarding the Crown Jewels there. But these days, with no prisoners kept at the Tower any longer, though the Crown Jewels are still safely kept within the walls of the Tower, these Yeoman Warders now act as tour guides for visitors and are even attractions in their own rights.

Behind the walls of the Tower is a beautiful courtyard.

London welcomes the sight of spring.

The Waterloo Barracks. Here lies the impressive Crown Jewels of England. There’s a queue here waiting to be let inside. No cameras allowed thus no photos to show you guys. :(

The White Tower where the royal armory was displayed.

One of the ummm… more ‘unique’ ones. :P


In the midst of all those armors on display, you’ll find a little entrance way that leads you to St John’s Chapel. Certainly a change of atmosphere from before. You’ll find yourself suddenly all the more quiet, all the more respectful and all the more appreciative. It’s a natural thing that happens every time you step into religious grounds.

That’s me attempting to be all solemn and deep in thought. The sight of the old tree branch from the equally old window is just so picturesque, don’t you think? *sigh*

Oh, let me introduce you to Raven here. Raven lives within the walls of the Tower. It has about five to six other ravens living with it. They are a group of ernormous ravens, bigger than any average ravens. Well, that is kind of expected seeing how well fed they were.

You see, the presence of the ravens is traditionally believed to protect the Crown
and the Tower, a superstition even suggests that

“If the Tower of London ravens are lost of fly away,
the Crown will fall and Britain with it.”

As much as they are so well taken care of over here, it is quite a sad sight to behold for such free-flying creatures, especially since they seemed to have their wings chipped to prevent them from flying away. :( And to add insult to injury, there's even little pigeons, the 'outflyers', flying in and out, next to these ravens. Kesiannya.

As we about to leave the grounds, we met two medieval ladies strolling by and quickly requested to take a picture with them.
*feeling a little out of place right in the middle there* LOL.

Right outside across the River Thames is the majestic Tower Bridge, often mistaken as London Bridge. A short stroll down led us to a pier where various cruise tours were available. Once again, we made full use of our Travelcard which offered a 30% off the regular price. There is of course the 2for1 offer but that was only for the River Red Rover ticket which upon calculation cost 60 pence more each. That's a whole RM3.00 after conversion and a total savings of RM6.00 for two persons. :P

And that's the cruiser right there. Sunny skies, perfect for an open-air ride. The tide was high that day and certain boats were having problem crossing under the many bridges along the Thames. We were asked to wait patiently for the tide to subside a little first and then we're off!

The view of Tower Bridge right from the centre of River Thames.

Mr Tour Guide quickly introduced himself as not a real 'tour guide' but still promised to
try his best to share with us all the important landmarks and facts about them.
I wouldn't say I was impressed by his commentary but at the same time has nothing to complain about either.

Yay for another shot of us together! :)

And we went, right under one bridge after another.

Finally we reached back to our most familiar point, the London Eye!
Our boat then came to a stop at Westminster Pier just across the London Eye.
We hopped off and was on our way again.

Next up! A quick trip to Harrods, then we're off to meet the queen. Wee!

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