Yesterday we headed off to have a look around the Tower of London. Although I have been there it was Brenda’s first visit. I am thinking she wasn’t impressed with it although the Crown Jewels did catch her eye. Legend has it that as long as the Ravens nest in the Tower the monarchy will be safe and these characters look like they know just how important they are.
Although they are free to roam the grounds just to ensure that nothing comes of the legend their wings are clipped and a couple of their mates are kept caged while the others wander the grounds. Now any gin drinkers out there will recognize this fellow, but he and his partners actually function as guards and tour guards around the Tower.
These Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) are all formerly senior non-commissioned officers with at least 22 years of service in the Armed Forces of the Commonwealth Realm. Guess if I headed home joined the army, served my 22 years, I could just possibly become the first Canadian as well as possibly the oldest Beefeater ever.
And last night we took in another musical at the Apollo Theatre, this one called Wicked. It was excellent as we had heard and well worth attending.
Today was a tour day, we hopped on a bus and headed out on a trip to see the sights beginning with Windsor Castle the oldest and largest working castle in world today. It is the weekend residence of Queen Elizabeth and has many State Rooms that are still used on special occasions. The private apartments take up about 35% of the castle and a large part of the rest is accessible to the public on tours. Security is very airport like to get in but once in it is a beautiful spot. This is a garden in an old moat.
We only spent a couple of hours here and then we were off to another famous spot. Stonehenge and nobody, not even me, have any idea what in the world all these rocks are piled up here for.
I am certain it made a lot of sense to someone 3 or 4 thousand years ago, as some of the rocks were hauled a couple of hundred miles, but they didn’t leave the secret behind with anyone so theories abound, from religious to aliens, and I guess I will just have to keep pondering it for awhile more.
From here we hopped back on our bus and headed over to Oxford. Not surprisingly like a lot of college towns there are a lot of young folks around although I am thinking most of them were like us, tourists, rather than students. So now when anyone asks we will be able to say “We went to Oxford” and leave it at that. Below is just a picture of the English countryside.
Tomorrow we jump on the Eurostar and tear off for Paris for a few days so if I can figure out the French internet that will be where you hear from us next.