Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cruising down the Thames

Saturday morning started out at the Tower of London to brush up on our British history. It has been a royal residence, a prison, and today is the home of the crown jewels. History AND jewelry in a castle?? I was sold.

Ravens hanging at the tower

Inside the tower:

I laughed really hard when I overheard French tourists complaining that it wasn't impressive enough for their liking. One guy said "It's no Versailles." That's true, but it's probably because we were in a room that was built 600 years earlier than Versailles was. David was annoyed to not have a break from complaining French people while on vacation, but I was very entertained.

There is so much to see at the Tower. I think we spent at least 3 hours there. David likes to read every word of every informational sign, so that might have been part of it ;)

We were planning on going to a huge museum next, but that didn't sound too appealing after already walking all morning. Luckily, while trying to find the museum we happened to walk by a boat tour. Cruising down the Thames sounded much better, so we hopped right on.

View of St. Paul's from the water.
The HMS Belfast was in WWII.

Millennium Bridge: the one that gets blown up in Harry Potter.
Did you know that London Bridge is really just an ugly slab of concrete?

We felt refreshed after going down the Thames and back, and had the energy to make it to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. On the way we walked by this garden (spring!!) and this Egyptian obelisk (the oldest thing in London).

There was so much going on in Trafalgar Square! Street performers, chalk artists, tourists and locals hanging out. I want to give a shout out to London for not having thousands of pigeons like France and Italy do. Because normally squares like this with big crowds are where the pigeons congregate. Notttttt a big fan of European pigeons.

Just down the street from Big Ben!

The National Gallery was great! And also free. The highlight for me was Da Vinci's Madonna on the Rocks. 

This is an unfinished Da Vinci drawing.

We also walked through a big Rembrandt section and saw some Raphael and Rubens. And this famous Dutch painting of the Arnolfinis.

I don't even know who painted this, but I <3 the frame!

After dinner (it's so easy to find food we like in London!!) it was time to head to the Bach concert of St. Matthew's Passion that David had been looking forward to for months. It was 3 hours of 100% all in German fun. I have not really been exposed to classical music much in my life, and this was a little too intense for me. 3 hours. All in German. At least I learned something new about myself: I don't like Bach.

However, David was in heaven and loved it. through it. No worries though, because the next day I got to go to my happy place: two words... Harry. Potter. Recap of the play coming soon.

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