We got off the boat at the Tower of London and walked in to one of the coolest fortresses of all times. While some of us were disappointed with the torture room, the crown jewels more than made up for the lack of people hanging from the walls. While the crowns were cool, the scepters, maces, swords, and goblets were amazing as well. Clearly, Britain’s Monarch have a flair for extravagance. It was also interesting to see them talk about how the Monarch is anointed with oil to make them a king. Many things to consider aside from the 3,000 carat diamonds.
Mike and the boys and got to see the Fusillier’s museum with remnants of all their campaigns throughout the world. It is interesting that Tower of London is still a garrison for an infantry unit. Peter could barely lift up the infantry soldier’s pack! The girls got to see the guards and get a photo with one of the soldiers. It turns out to work there, you have to have been in the Army for at least 22 years, be retired, and have attained the rank of Sergeant Major. Everyone except Mike and Madeline toured the white tower and saw all the armor and weapons. Madeline got to eat baby food and get carried up and down endless stairs in the stroller. Tower of London was not really stroller friendly. We got some good photos of London Bridge and steered our way back through the masses to the tube station to go to St Paul’s Cathedral.
Of course, since we were at St. Paul’s, and we’re Wilhelms, we decided to hike up to the top of the Cathedral dome…the whole way up, with a baby, and a stroller (mostly because Mike isn’t smart enough to check the stroller at the bottom). The staircase to the first level was wide with short steps. It put us up in the rotundum about ½ way. The next set of stairs was crazy narrow and steep with bonus narrow sections put in there. This took us up and outside where we got great views of London and waited for the final ascent to the top of the dome to a little balcony on the outside that got you the best views of the city. The steps though were tortuous with a stroller, but doable, if you’re Mike.
From there, we came back down the stairs all the way to the bottom and found a nice plaza to have lunch. We ate our sandwiches that we made at breakfast and got some ice-cream from the local grocery store and sat in the plaza by a fountain and ate our lunch. After that, we got our Poppins on and fed the birds. Yes indeed, on the steps of St. Paul, we fed the birds. We also lost Andrew, who stated emphatically that he had been standing there the whole time…well we had video evidence, and sure enough, he was standing by the pole while the other kids fed the birds. This time, he was saved by the video.
From St. Paul’s, we walked over the Millennium bridge back across the Thames and walked through the back roads to our hotel. Of course, being good parents, we left all our kids in the hotel and went out to get some tasty Ramen for ourselves. The Ramen was by far the best we have eaten since leaving Japan. Strange thing is that as we were leaving the hotel, Mike had a bad feeling about gong out. All was good and we made it back safely to our hotel after dinner, but that night some terrorists killed a bunch of people on London bridge and in the nearby restaurants. We were about 5 blocks away, fortunately, we were not in that area when it happened. We hate terrorists and the non-sense that accompanies all this stuff. It takes something out of the fun of travelling when you have to beware of the nut jobs out there. We were able to get our kids some Japanese food and headed home early, which ended up being a good thing because we were fast asleep in our hotel when all the bad stuff went down. Stand ye in holy places.