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!


Craftyfield said...

Amazing display, so glad you went and took all these pictures for those of us who didn't go!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Thank You Helen! There's no chance of me seeing the poppies so this has been a real treat, Chrisx

Hazel Agnew said...

Stunning photos from a stunning day! Love them. Lived up to your usual high standard. Even Dave Looked good. Wish that I could see them. Incidentally, the guy who designed the whole concept is from my home town! Xx

sam21ski said...

Wow, what a fantastic set of photos, thanks so much for sharing, it's hard to believe that each poppy has been planted by hand, I wonder who will get the privilege of planting the last one?


Carol said...

Thanks for sharing Helen - I would have loved to have gone again but haven't had time, so lovely to be able to look at your photos - and you're so good at getting the best photos! xx

Deborah Wainwright said...

Great post Helen with excellent photos. Looks like you both had a lovely day. Xx

Pinksparklegirl said...

Just fabulous, i think my favourite bit is the cascade, the whole thing just makes me feel so humbled, thank you for sharing

voodoo vixen said...

Wow, you got to go twice! Thanks for the wonderful photos, it was like I was there with you.... except I wasn't there with you.... LOL ;)

craftytrog said...

Fabulous tour of the poppies and Tower Helen! TFS! x

massofhair said...

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful images of this amazing installation Helen.

Your posts have been a treat for me as i am not able to visit and would have missed out on such a special event.

Such a humbling experience and you were there to see and share. Again thank you Helen:-) xxx

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

And just think. One of those poppies will be yours!

This was a lovely tour. Even more fun than the TV show I saw. I was super impressed with your photos, and felt like you took me with you.

Thanks for doing all this and sharing these photos just in time for Remembrance/Armistice Day.

Carmen said...

Thank you Helen. I would have loved to have gone but there was just no chance. I think that was why Craig agreed so readily to us buying a poppy - apart from he is a big supporter of those kind of charities - he knew how much I wanted to go and it was a small chance in a way to see even a tiny part.

Your pictures are a real treat and am actually sat here quite emotional looking through them - goodness knows what it must be like in real life!

When I went to the Canterbury Christ Church open day they were telling us that one of their students was helping make the poppies - what a project to be involved in!

Thanks again Helen - I don't know who is more appreciative of your new camera - us or you ;)

Neet said...

Thank you Helen. This is a very comprehensive tour and such wonderful photographs of the tower and, of course, the poppies.
This page in your blog will be somewhere I and others can turn to long after the media has done showing it so a big thank you from me. Something to remember.
Hugs, Neet xx

Sarah Anderson said...

Thanks so much for sharing these amazing photos Helen. We didn't go in the tower when we visited so it's great to see what it's like inside, and the view of the poppies from 'the other side'

Kirsten said...

I won't get to see the poppies so I really appreciate you taking so many photos of them. The whole display looks incredible.
I'm glad you & Lin had such a wonderful day.

Artyjen said...

Thanks so much for sharing Helen. I know I won't get the chance to see them for real but your photos made it come alive.

Dee's Craft Room said...

Fantastic photos Helen, it has given the best impression of just how many poppies there. Amazing.


Dee's Craft Room said...

Fantastic photos Helen, it has given the best impression of just how many poppies there. Amazing.


craftimamma said...

Fabulous post with stunning photos Helen. What a treat for those of us who are not able to go and see them in person. Thanks so much for taking the time to share them all with us.

Lesley Xx

michelle ward said...

Helen, thank you for the heads up on your blog post, with your stunning array of photos that allow us to feel like we have experienced the poppies ourselves. I am in awe...mouth wide open and tears in my eyes. Thank you.

Lin said...

great post Helen and can confirm what a wonderful day it was!! I'm thinking now we need to try and go back before they are all gone again lol!

Words and Pictures said...

Fantastic photos of a beautiful and profoundly moving piece of art. Finally got to see it last Weds with the vast majority still in place...

Happy to say my visit coincided with the respect-worthy Princess Anne - even as a non-royalist I've got a lot of time for her - rather than Cameron (who doesn't have my respect at all I'm afraid).
Alison xx