Saturday 17th October.
Today London is a little bit fresh. However, as you can guess, it will never be the weather which will stop me in my London discovery!
It doesn't matter, this cloudy sky will be the perfect one for a cultural expedition: The Tower of London!
1st stop. The White Tower I began my visit with the white tower, in the heart of the site. Inside, I learnt about the succession of England's kings, and a chance to see their beautiful armour, and surprisingly the armour of a woman also! While I waited patiently before seeing the Crown Jewels, there were some amazing guns well-decorated by diamonds, gold, ruby and others gemstones.
2nd stop. The Crown Jewels!
After leaving the Tower, you will be just in front of the entrance of the building which shelter the Crown Jewels. Don't worry about the long queue, it moves quickly! As i wanted to discover this famous attraction, I decided to join the people and after 5 minutes we were all inside. And inside … such am ambiance! I need to highlight how the British are good at creating different atmospheres everywhere! Here it's like you feel so proud of the English royalty while I don't have any percent of British blood.
As I waited patiently, I got to see the items from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, and also her dress for this ritual.
Such a mise en scène! To see the Crown Jewels you need to take a travellator. THEN, you will finally see the well-know Crown: So wonderful! Even if you are not crazy about jewellery, this one will not leave you indifferent. The perfect lighting matched perfectly with these marvels. The sparkling gives a real magic effect. Facing these precious jewels, many people tried to make a U-turn to get the opportunity to gaze upon it for as long as possible!
After, as I was alone, I decided to speak a bit with one the beefeater: So lovely! He gives me some advices to continue my visit.
3rd stop. Torture at the Tower & Bloody Tower A new atmosphere. Inside, I learned some spooky stories about the Tower of London. The main story was about two young boys which were imprisoned here. In fact, these two young boys were two princes, Edward IV's sons. Their uncle (the king Richard III) stuck them inside and murdered them! (Just for the anectode, a case were founded during renovation. Nobody know if it's them or not but now they are burried in Westmisnter Abbey).
I reassure you, actually there is nothing about machines tortures, you can bring your child without problems ;)
Last stop. The Wall Walks To finish my visit, I put myself in the beefeater's shoes. They invite you to imagine yourself in the Medieval period. You need to keep under surveillance the Tower against enemies!
As long as you walk, from one tower to another, you never stopped learning something exciting about the story of this place.
At the end, I was fascinated by a video which explains the reason of poppies around the tower last year. In fact, this beautiful land art project was created by artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper. The 888,246 ceramics poppies represent all 888,246 soldiers who died on the front during the 1st world war. A wonderful homage and again a lot of emotion to conclude this marvellous visit.
My advice. Go to the Tower of London before 3:15PM, the hour of the last guided tour with a Yeoman Warder. Popularly knows as « Beefeaters », they will entertain you with tales of intrigue, imprisonment, execution, torture and much more « funny » stories about the Tower of London (I will not say more, no spoil!).
Personal opinion. This visit is perfect for people who are interested in history but also for families who want to spend a good time together. Yes, you will say "Torture, execution, … maybe not the perfect subject for a child." Don't be so sure! Many children were visiting the site. In fact, there is plenty of activities set up for them, to explain to them the story of the Tower of London in a interactive way. Ok, maybe I am still a child sometimes because to try the games was probably my favourite part.
Bonus ;) Funny things: You will discover inside a lot of exotic things! From the ancient presence of lions, elephants or monkey (yes, when a King have everything, what are you supposed to gift to him?) to the shield, sabre and headdress from all around the world! Try and find the statue to the Polar Bear...