Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Wonderful London Weekend
We came back tired, but very happy, after our visit to the nation's capitol.Although it was only two days away we seemed to squish in all the best ingredients for a break; fantastic sunny weather, historical sites of interest, (that's Tower Bridge above) great food..... and a brilliantly buzzing bear fair too!
Before I go any further I must give a huge "Thank You" to all the lovely people who came by the stand and gave a special new home to my bears.Six of them went off to Abracadabra teddy shop in Saffron Walden; including Azalea and Jasmine the pandas pictured in my previous post. Hugglets was soooo busy this time, and there was such a sunny atmosphere all day - which wasn't only down to the glorious Spring weather.As always I really enjoyed chatting to everybody and the day seemed to be over in a flash!
On Saturday the three of us visited The Tower of London, where it goes without saying I was beyond excited to see the Crown Jewels. All I can say is: they literally take your breath away, and..... I'm amazed that diamonds can even be that big!!!! No wonder the building has thick vault style doors and anyone taking photos is made to delete them immediately (we saw this happen!)
Originally prisoners would have arrived at the Tower through this gate, in barges conveyed directly from the Thames.They would already have passed under London Bridge with its grisly severed heads displayed on pikes.
Originally started in 1066 by William the Conqueror, it was continually whitewashed which gave rise to the name. This is the strongest point of the buildings' concentric circular layout, and would have provided living quarters for the King. It houses The Armourey - which is full of interesting exhibits including Henry VIII's armour, together with all sorts of hideous looking weaponry, and also a line of wooden horses which used to display figures of the Kings of England:-
If you're not paying attention these 10 horses appear odd and even bizarrely cartoon-like, but then you notice that they all date from 1690. So I forgave them instantly! The third in the line (with the very dipped head - hard to see in this snap) was carved by Grinling Gibbons who was an amazing sculptor in wood; we've seen his work in several stately homes.
Intriguing wire mesh animal sculptures are dotted about the place at the moment in recognition of the fact that the Tower buildings once housed a fantastical menagerie started by King Henry III in 1251, and only closing in the 1850s. Lion skulls dug up here have been dated back to Medieval times.
I thought the sculptures almost looked like needle felting!
Well, I hope you enjoyed a quick bit of site-seeing. Until next time,
T.T.F.N Ruth xx