The Tower of London and High Tea at Kensington
Another very full day with very full stomachs again with yet another English Breakfast. Off on the tube again and this time to Tower Bridge Station to go to the Tower of London. We had a hilarious guided tour with a real live Beefeater first, then time to look around by ourselves and see the Crown Jewels and climb on the Ramparts. What a remarkable place. Bloody old Henry VIII was a bastard really with all the beheadings and rule changing to satisfy his lusty ways. The Beefeaters, we discovered actually live on site with their families and certainly can tell a good tale. The church there is very historic, with all the tombs inside, makes for very interesting history lessons. Heaps and heaps to see in this place. Time to catch the train back to Bayswater Station to walk up the road to Kensington Gardens. High tea was another little extra Lisa had arranged for us to enjoy. This was in the Orangery in the grounds of Kensington Palace. It is a building built in the 16th century by William of Orange, hence its name. A very lovely experience made even more so by the wonderfully friendly head waiter Lucies from Poland who chatted to us and took our photo. He seemed genuinely interested in us and where we were from as he delivered our 3 tier afternoon tea plates with little sandwiches, tiny muffins, scones with clotted cream and jam and very special little cakes each on their own special tier. We each had our own 3 tier plate, along with our tea and coffee. We never thought we could gorge our way through all of that but we did. There was not a crumb left! So that was afternoon tea at 4pm and we certainly didn't need dinner after that.
By then, it was getting late, dark, very wet and we had to walk back in that through Kensington Park to the tube station again. I was ademant I wanted to see the Globe Theatre before we left London. Stupid us really. We should have waited until we to go to London again (if ever we do). By the time we actually got there, we were wet to the skin and the Globe Theatre was closed as there was no performances that night. So no Shakespearian experience and no time to go to any other show in London either. What a huge pity. We just have to go back don't we. We still managed to take photos of this wonderful building which is so different to any other in London. Such a pity we couldn't get inside.
OK I already said we didn't need any dinner but cold and soaked to the skin does give you an appetite and we did need to find a warm pub to dry out in again so you can't go to a pub (Des doesn't drink at all and I will only have a wine ocassionally) without having something to eat eh. It was only a light dinner though this time.
Back to our hotel to pack for the next part of our journey, having only just scratched the surface of London, with all the crowds and fanfare of the jubilee. We loved London so much we can't wait to come back. Perhaps in a couple of years,we will. We loved the history and that it is part of our own history also. Des's Dad, Charlie was born in London and my Mum's Mother was English also, so we feel akin to this country as much as I did in Sweden. Next time we hope to have found out something about Des's family ties to London and perhaps we can see where young Charlie lived as a boy before coming to New Zealand with his family in the early 1900's.