Our third day in London began with a surprise visit to the infamous Abbey Road thoroughfare where the Beatles posed for their 1969 aptly named Abbey Road album cover photo. I suspect it was to the dismay of several motorists (the road is still quite busy) that our large group attempted several recreations of aforementioned photo. Here is the version Torri and I ended up with.
After the Abbey Road stop our group headed from Westminster into London proper for a walking tour. We began at St. Paul’s Cathedral–the second largest church in the United Kingdom and the location where Princess Diana and Prince Charles were wed. It being a Sunday, the bells were ringing, calling worshipers in to the service. We did not enter St. Paul’s but did have the chance for a quick photo op just outside.
From there, we crossed the Thames River via the Millennium Footbridge en route to the Tower of London. Along the way, we passed Shakespeare’s Globe theater. I’m sorry to say that it was too darn cold for me to worry about a picture. I did get a photo of the Tower bridge.
Our tour then led us into the fortress that is the London Tower. Our tour guide brought the historic castle to life with tales of torture and beheadings and the mysterious disappearance of England’s would-be King Edward, who–together with his brother–was sent to live at the Tower of London under the care of his uncle. As legend has it, dear old uncle Richard wanted the crown for himself and offed both of his nephews sometime in 1483. There is nothing but circumstantial evidence to prove it so, though two skeletons of children were discovered under a staircase during renovations in 1684. Those two skeletons are assumed to be Edward and his brother and were reburied in Westminster Abbey.
Our time at the Tower of London was abruptly cut short; I would love to go back someday. I did snap this one photo, though. It depicts the original entrance to the White Tower. One of the interesting tidbits our guide shared was that staircases were routinely constructed of wood, and stand in strong contrast to the formidable stone walls of the tower itself. The reason for that was so that in the event of an attack the staircases could be burned, thereby preventing any attackers an easy means of entry.
After our time at the Tower of London, the group set out for a drive through the English countryside to our second hotel of the trip, The Foxhills. Foxhills is actually a converted 19th-century manor house set amidst 440 sprawling acres of gorgeous countryside.
It may or may not be a common thing, but I found the room set-up odd. There were two twin-sized beds in our room, as opposed to doubles.
While both the room and the resort were charming, our first night there was anything but. You can imagine the adrenaline that went rushing through our bodies when the fire alarm went off at 2 am. Both Torri and stumbled to the door and out into the hall wearing our pajamas where several other of our tour members where doing the same. We waited there for further instruction and were soon given the all-clear to return to bed. It took me almost two hours to fall back to sleep. Oh, but wouldn’t you know it: the fire alarm went off again at 4 am. And then again at 6 am. It all equated to yet another sleepless night in Europe for Torri and I. The only bonus was that Foxhills sent over a lovely bottle of champagne as well as several spa products to apologize for the disruption.
On the itinerary for day four: Stonehenge and Windsor Castle. Stay tuned :)