Today would be a big day, so we woke up early and took the bus to the Tower of London. What a mistake!!! As everyone said, the traffic was terrible, but we did finally make it and, as I remembered from times in the past, it would be hard to figure out how to get in. EXCEPT we saw a huge sign that said Tickets!!!! We purchased our tickets and went in. We went to see the Crowne Jewels first and there were very few people there. We then had some breakfast and walked around a bit, then joined a Beefeaters Tour, which was wonderful. There were lots of people and sometimes it was hard to hear him, but he gave us some great information about the Tower of London. It started to rain a little, so we all went into the Church where he told us about the Church and his personal experience hanging out with some well known dignitaries by accident. Afterward, Shannon and I saw where the executions were held and where the Ravens live, then we left and walked towards the Tower Bridge. We were also able to see two changing of the guard ceremonies outside the Crowne Jewels.
There were lots of people taking pictures of the bridge, which is so iconic, so we took a few ourselves. We walked to the underground where we took a train to the Blackfriars Station so we could visit the Tate Modern. We walked across the Millenium Bridge, a pedestrian bridge, and it seemed like just moments to cross the Thames. There were loads of people on the bridge and at the Tate. We decided it was time for lunch, so we had lunch in the cafe there. We have found that every museum has good wifi, so it has not been too hard to get my granddaughter into museums here. The British are very generous to their tourists, as they only ask for donations to visit most museums. Other attractions, though, are extremely expensive. The building itself is nothing like what we have seen before, but that makes sense, as it is the Tate MODERN. It sits right on the Thames. As we looked back across the bridge, we could see St. Paul’s Cathedral.
We stayed long enough in the Tate Modern that we missed being able to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral. It does seem a shame for Shannon to have missed that, but many cathedrals look alike. This one is as impressive on the outside as it is on the inside. We walked through the gardens to get to the underground. Believe it or not, we discussed taking the bus. :). We came back to Leicester Square via the underground and made it back home in less than 20 minutes. We have nothing on for tonight, but there are plenty of restaurants nearby, so we will do what we usually do — just walk.
We decided to eat Italian again. We are eating at a little restaurant near the Covent Gardem market area called Cicchetti, which is like tapas, but Italian dishes. Shannon is all smiles as the spaghetti promodoro is good. She ordered more pasta to make the most of it.
We are thinking now of heading home and what we will do for our last day. There were things that we missed because of timing issues or other things, so we will regroup tonight and make some decisions. I am thinking we will stay close to home, meaning Leicester Square and Covent Garden, but we shall see. We have dollars left on our Oyster Card probably.