Getting humbled, one way or another

London June 22, 2010

Filed under: Travel — sarahallen24 @ 6:05 pm

On the way back from Uganda we got the blessing of a day and a half in London. To be able to stop, shower, and sleep horizontally between the two 9 hour flights is exciting enough. But I’d never been to London (or anywhere outside a European airport for that matter) so I was all fired up to go be a tourist.

The first afternoon we just rode the tube into Westminster and did some walking around. The highlight was finding a Subway and eating my first meal without potatoes. Seriously, this was exciting.

The tube (notice the backpacks and the sweatshirts tied around the waist…a sure sign of American tourists)

Happy to be visitng the motherland

The next day the group split into the regular tourists and the let’s-see-everything-humanly-possible tourists. I was in the latter group. When am I gonna be in London again? We started our day around 10am and hit the ground running.

First stop, the National Gallery. We only had an hour but it was incredible to see paintings from the 1200s up to the 1700s.

Giant ship in a bottle

Next we ran down to look at the Parliament building and Big Ben.

Then over to Westminster Abbey

As a few people toured the abbey, the rest of us ran down to Buckingham Palace to see the Queen. She didn’t answer the door though. Shame.

The next stop was what I was most excited for- the Tower of London. It didn’t disappoint. This castle was built in 1066 as has been home to many kings & queens plus it has been a prison, execution site and is now where the crown jewels are stored.

This grassy area used to be the moat

Inside the compound, right outside the actual castle. This is looking at one of the gates and the inner wall. The dungeon is in the lower section of the round building in the middle. You can see Tower Bridge behind the trees.

We got to see the crown jewels but no pictures were allowed. It was pretty crazy seeing that many diamonds, not to mention the robes and solid gold platters. The history is incredible. It’s really cool to see the stuff you’ve learned about in school. Plus their history just goes back so much farther than America…it’s a lot to wrap your mind around.

This is King Henry VIII’s actual armor. Not to be crass…but it’s obvious he thought he was pretty incredible. History supports that given he had 6 wives and killed 2 of them….and made himself “The Supreme Head of the Church of England.”

The castle

A chapel within the castle

Tower Bridge over the River Thames

We closed down the Tower of London…they were shooing us out the door…actually off the draw bridge. So we jumped on the tube again and headed up to the British Museum of History.

I thought this was awesome. It used to sit along the Nile River in Egypt. So my trip began at the headwaters of the Nile and ended looking at artifacts from the mouth of the Nile.

Quite possibly the world’s oldest fist bump?

THE Rosetta Stone!

After the museum we ate at a nice little cafe and then headed back to the tube. We arrived back at our hotel at 11:30 making our ultra-tourist day about 13 hours long. And this wraps up Uganda 2010. The entire trip was so incredibly fun, humbling and educational. I hope to keep learning from it.

Thanks for reading!


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