Sunday, July 17, 2011

Crowns Lost and Found

Our last day in London was all fun.  After a little confusion about the difference between London Bridge and Tower Bridge

and a quick detour into the boroughs, we worked our way over to the tower of London.  This was worth every penny of the admission price.

Here you can learn all sorts of interesting tidbits

Because we hadn't spent our last cent, the first thing we did was buy some candy... Jim immediately lost a crown on one of his teeth...which was fine with me since it wasn't my mouth...and in the end it meant that there were fewer people eating that delicious stuff...which, of course, left ...more for me.  While Jim's crown was a sight to see, it couldn't hold a candle to the other crowns we would see that day.

The history of the medieval palace is amazing, but there was another plus.  All of the kids have read, at one time or another, the Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.  In fact Mary and I had recently finished the last book... Peter and the Sword of Mercy.

The Tower of London and Curtana (the sword of mercy), which is displayed with the crown jewels there, are a large part of the book.  So even Mary, who is too young to appreciate all of the history  of the place had had a previous exposure to the tower and the jewels (Even though she hasn't studied the history of the monarchy, She did perk up a bit when she heard that "Bloody Mary " had been imprisoned there.... She tried enacting her own version of bloody Mary... but it wasn't that convincing!)

All of the kids agreed that the Crown Jewels were worth the wait in line.  And the wait in line is done well...while you are approaching the jewels, you are touring through rooms watching films of and informational slideshows about the jewels... Even then I was still surprised to see the sword of mercy among the crown jewels.

Sorry no pics of the jewels... this nice guard told us to stow the camera

After some fish and chips outside the tower, we worked our way to Camden town.

where we found the  the world's end.  (Jim and I have seen the other end of the world in I guess we can say we have been from one end of the world to the other)

I think if the older girls had known about Camden Town sooner, they would have spent the entire three days in London here.  They LOVED it... The rest of us kind of liked it too, but were not about to spend the rest of the day shopping.

That's why we went next to  -  Harrod's department store.  (only Caroline was taking pics can tell where her interests were lying from this first one!)

Harrods! - Where you can get a macaroon for five bucks... or a coffee mug for could easily spend a week (and a fortune) here and not see everything, but I believe most folks get tired of their eyes popping out every time they look at a price tag, and leave after a few hours....

Our plan to meet back at door number six in half an hour left us all wanting more so we set another time and scurried off again to various corners of the store...all of the food sections are a must see.  We couldn't resist buying some Turkish Delight... A box of lemon and rose flavored candies (Jim puckered after a bite of a rose flavored piece and declared that it was "like eating soap").

We also enjoyed the toy department, the pet shop, the furniture department and the Egyptian escalators.

A quick bite in Hyde Park

Then we tried to ditch the kids at the dungeons

Before Jim finally got his pint at a pub near London Bridge station.

This is how it looked from his vantage point

no wonder he needed a pint!

Our bartender was a Russian boy named Vlad.  He took quite a shine to Caroline, who later asked if she could stay there by herself for a few hours since he would be getting off work soon...

Instead we all went back to the campsite together.

And prepared for the beginning of our return trip.

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