September 12, 2017

Today was a “free day” on our trip and I think that everyone tried to cram as much of England as possible into the day!  Many went to the Tower of London – it was started in 1066 by William the Conqueror.  We were able to see the White Tower which was the original structure of the site.

Inside the White Tower is a very famous exhibit, The Line of Kings” which displays armor of all the kings from the time of King Henry VIII.  We also saw the crown jewels which have been kept at the Tower of London except in the case of World War II when they were spirited off to a secret place where they were kept safe until the end of the war.  There was a gold punch bowl from the 17th century that weighed 1/2 a ton!  It is no longer used (I imagine it gets heavy to move around) but the beautiful baptism fonts are still being used for Royal babies.

While there we heard the stories of famous prisoners of the tower: Queen Anne Boleyn, Queen Katherine Howard, Princess Elizabeth I, Thomas More, Walter Raleigh and others.  There were two places of execution – one public and one away from the public.

We walked from there to the Tower bridge.  It was the most beautiful bridge I had ever seen.  From there it was on to the British Museum. I think it would take weeks to be able to get through that spot. We able to see several mummies as well as – the Rosetta Stone.

We then took the “tube” to the Westminster area where we could visit Westminster Abbey, the House of Parliament, and Big Ben.  It is hard to imagine such incredible history and places being so close in proximity to one another.

Tomorrow is our final day and we head to the airport early in the morning! – Rev. Wendy Lambert