Saturday, November 8, 2014

the Tower of London - and Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Hi, just home from another lovely day out with Lin, at the Tower of London - we enjoyed it so much last time, and as we didn't get to see everything, we wanted to go back - and to have another look at the stunning art installation that has captured the world (and I think most of them were there today!)

So, forgive me, this post is very picture heavy!
Had an early start to try and beat the crowds.. ha ha ha!! that one failed - everyone else had the same idea... anyway, it was early as I left - barely light:...
 the moon was still high in the sky!
 8.40 am and these were the crowds!! so much for beating them.  So we got our tickets (another queue) and went straight into the Tower
were there were (slightly) fewer people in the way - but you can see them in the distance, lined up along the walkways viewing the poppies.
 one of the famous Tower ravens, cawing away.
 the White Tower
 view of Tower Bridge

 the Tudor buildings in the corner are home to the Constable of the Tower.... and then there came a "make way please" and some men in suits...
 oh look the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his family (turned out, he and Samantha had planted a couple of poppies, and obviously then had a private tour!)

they got a tour of the Constable's house, which isn't open to the public, this is them on the way back out.

We left them to go on their way, and headed for the part of the Tower where the instruments of torture are - not sure I fancy the rack!
 We went into the Beauchamp Tower, which used to be the prison, all kinds of  medieval graffiti on the walls.

 back outside to view the moat full of poppies.
 and the cascade over the bridge across the moat

 we took another Yeomen Warder tour, this was our guide George.  He was still funny, but not as good as the one we had last time, but there was no sign of him.
The Tour ends in the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, which we missed last time as it was closed for refurbishment. Sadly, we weren't allowed to take photos inside.
 Traitor's Gate, with the poppies the other side
 The Tower used to be home to the Royal Mint, this time we went into the exhibition to see - these are the tools used
 Assay scales to measure the right level of gold or silver
 another glimpse of the poppies from the bridge across the moat
 love the white daisies growing through the poppies!
 the cascade

 then we left to walk round the outside of the Tower, it was very crowded all the way, but for the most part people took turns to get to the front to snap their poppy pics.
 VERY grey skies behind the Shard, luckily while we were there it just drizzled a little now and then
 this had all been planted since I was last there in September

 up to the road now, and glimpses through the railings

 and today's volunteers, planting the final few thousand poppies (the 888,246th will be planted on Armistice Day, 11th November)
 Following the walk round the top, the moat is now nearly full the whole way round

 we took the "high" walk and luckily as I had the long zoom, I could cut through most of the people!
 but I did deliberately keep some in to get an idea of the crowds.

 quite a few people down on the lower viewing walk

but all in all, a lovely lovely day.
Thanks for the company Lin, sorry you got soaked on the way home!