Touring Europe-Part 2

LODGING WE LOVE: Ibis hotels—we stayed in these often! good prices, clean rooms, and a front desk person (we really like hotels over apartment rentals/BnBs because of the front desk person. We’ve had a few mis-steps with Air BnB rentals … Continue reading

Off with her head!

The kids pose with their favorite beefeater, Tower of London

The kids pose with their favorite beefeater, Tower of London


Elaborate wall etchings by Tower of London prisoners

Elaborate wall etchings by Tower of London prisoners

There are three things we came to see: London Bridge, Harry Potter and Tower of London. Today, we made full use of the great weather and headed directly to the Tower of London. We purchased our tickets ahead of time on line and collected our entry tickets at the kiosks. We hooked up with a Yeoman right away (those friendly beefeater guys who give great personalized tours) and we were off. I loved the stories that were shared about the boy princes who died in the stairwell of one building and the different queens (Ann Boleyn and Kathryn Howard) who were held in the tower. We also took a peek at the wall etchings done by prisoners being kept in the tower.
Prisoners of the Tower of London added their names and designs to the prison walls

Prisoners of the Tower of London added their names and designs to the prison walls


Tower Green, view of Tudor buildings across the lawn

Tower Green, view of Tudor buildings across the lawn

Our walk to the Tower of London included a stroll along the river with great views of Tower Bridge, which we thought was London Bridge. Actually, London Bridge is the huge bridge for vehicle traffic a ways from Tower of London and the one you see from tower of London is named, appropriately, Tower Bridge. The afternoon’s weather held out and we made our way over to the Imperial War Museum where we saw WWII planes suspended from the ceiling, tour a very cool spy exhibit where we got to see tricks and tools of the trade. They also had a very well-produced exhibit on the Holocaust; it was so sensitive that children under the age of 13 were not permitted to attend.The photos were graphic and I appreciated the caution they took to protect little eyes.
Still not tired of walking yet, we were determined to find Platform 9 3/4 of Harry Potter fame. After some confusing directions from train personnel and the Rick Steves’ guidebook, we located the shopping cart and snapped a picture of Lauren almost traveling through the wall. Each of the kids took a turn, and I’m happy to report that all of them are muggles.

Trying to get to Hogwarts at Platform 9 3/4

Trying to get to Hogwarts at Platform 9 3/4