Our first full day in London we got tickets for the Hop On Hop Off bus and rode to the Tower of London. I was struck by the sight of hundred of thousands of ceramic red poppies surrounding the tower in commemoration of the centennial of World War I. Since I was still without a camera, I used my remaining credits to download today’s photos from bigstockphoto.com.
The site was quite crowded, and we decided to pass on a visit to the Crown Jewels, since the line was quite long. Instead Linda and I walked through the Fusilier’s Museum, which tells the story of an infantry regiment raised at the tower in 1685. One of the highlights of the museum is the Eagle Standard of the 82nd Regiment of the French Line, captured during the Napoleonic Wars. Capturing an Eagle was quite a feat for any regiment to be proud of.
Next stop was the Beauchamp Tower, where prisoners were kept, some with a view overlooking the spot where executions took place. Famous prisoners were kept her, including the husband of Lady Jane Grey. One of the interesting parts is the prisoner graffiti carved into the tower walls. My traveling companion, Linda Prine, located a possible ancestor named John Prine, said to have been a Catholic priest who was a prisoner in 1568 during the reign of Elizabeth I. (Well, obviously not a direct ancestor, but perhaps related.)
After leaving the tower, we grabbed a bite at a nearby spot, then took a boat up the Thames from the Tower pier to Westminster Pier. Val and I did the same cruise back in 2003 and I have some of my own pictures from that.
More from London next week.