Tuesday, 3 April 2012

London Day 3 - Visiting the Icons

My sister and I had a big day of walking planned, and so we put on our walking shoes and left the house just after peak hour.  We started out at the Royal Exchange, which looks so impressive with its big columns.  I would have taken some pictures inside the building, which is full of boutique stores.  However, I was informed by the guard that we couldn't take pictures.  My sister told me the reason was because someone broke into the place and stole all the fancy jewellery some years ago.

Then we headed off to the Tower of London, and gosh, you could spend ages lost in there.  I love those old buildings!  Can you see the pretend archer off the top of the turret?  And look at the outer wall!  It's just like something from the movies!

And the armory was impressive.  But my goodness, look at the codpiece on that right suit!  Those things look so bulky and unwieldly, how did people fight in them?

I think I've been watching too many movies, because I always imagined that torture and imprisonment was rife in the Tower of London.  However they said that it was very rare and excecutions and beheadings were also quite rare.

After Tower of London, we walked across the Tower Bridge.  I made the mistake that Tower Bridge was London Bridge!  But Tower bridge is such an iconic London icon, walking across it was really cool.

After that we walked all the way to St Paul's Cathedral, across the Millenium bridge.  That pedestrian bridge connects right to St Paul's cathedral and because it's made of metal, it was shining bright and white as we walked across it.  The Cathedral loomed in front of us, and when all of it was in view it was beautiful.  I was telling my sister that the Cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, who was laid to rest in the Cathedral somewhere but I didn't see his tomb/plaque.  The dome of the cathedral is 365 feet tall - purposely built like that to match a year.

View of the Dome and Paternoster Column from Paternoster Square
 We decided to go up in the dome to the The Whispering Gallery, Stone Gallery, and the Golden gallery (see above picture of the dome - you can see people walking on the Stone and Golden galleries).  It was a lot of steps - 257 steps to the Whispering Gallery, another 119 steps to the Stone gallery and another 154 steps to the Golden gallery.  In the Whispering Gallery you can sit on opposite sides of the room and whisper one another and hear - but we didn't try that, there were so many people I could hardly hear my sister talking next to me anyway!  It was a good tiring climb to get to the Stone Gallery, where I finally could take some pictures.  The bottom left picture shows Millenium bridge with the "Razor" building in the background - you can see the 3 turbines in the top of the building which generates 8% of its energy needs.

We wandered in the crypt after that, and sat down for some home made iced tea and a lavendar shortbread.  We headed to do a bit of shopping after that and our twin friends A and K came over to watch the first episode of Season 2 of Game of Thrones which premiered last night here.  We had takeaway peking duck, pulled pork and ribs.  Yum!  Then my sister and I veged out watching TV shows until 1am!

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