Monday, 27 January 2014

Good Morning Sun

Happy Monday everyone! Today we had our second week of British Life & Culture and goodness gracious I love that class! The class is basically a walking tour each week with our British tutor Professor Rumbelow and his incredible brain. Seriously though, this man is such a great story teller and that is exactly what history is, a story! Today we had class inside the Tower of London, the morning started off with our group meeting outside of Tower Hill tube station where we were greeted warmly by the sun, a welcome sight for anyone who has spent any time in London. 
This is Tower Bridge right outside of the Tower Of London, we were there to see the bridge being raised for a freighter. Can you say hello sun?
After taking a few notes and seeing the public execution site, that was last used in 1787, we headed inside to the tower! The tower was originally built in the 11th century and was built to protect the people inside the tower from potentially angry Londoners who could quickly turn into a mob. There is no entrance to the tower that is on the ground level so that the towns people could not swarm the castle, there has always been a wooden staircase that leads up to entrance so that in an emergency it could be cut down or burned. Since its original building, the Tower has expanded and grown into a national landmark and is often times the face of London. It was in this tower that Anne Boleyn was executed as well as the "two Princes in the tower" were murdered in 1483, among others. The tower serves also as the home of the Crown Jewels! All of the crowns were absolutely stunning and I loved looking at them all. My favorite was probably the 530.2 carat diamond called the First Star of Africa, ya know I would pick the biggest and most sparkly thing in there to fall in love with. 

One of the guards just ya know, marching around. We were even present when they switched guards, so cool!

These guys are traditionally called Yeoman Warders but are also referred to as Beefeaters, they are the tower guards. All of them that we got to talk to were very nice and personable! 
 There is a legend that dates back to Charles II that 6 ravens should be kept in the Tower of London at all times, if they ever left it is a symbol that the monarchy will fall and Britain along with it. Some of the ravens have great names like Ronald Raven, Jubilee, and Merlin. I think Ronald Raven is my favorite. Here is a crazy shot of one of the Beefeaters petting a raven like its no big deal! The ravens are notoriously sassy and like to bite!
Nothing else of much consequence happened today. I uploaded captions to the pictures from the Canterbury Cathedral if you want to read those gory details! I'll also put up more from today...eventually. Tomorrow will be pretty boring but Wednesday should prove to be exciting, we're going to see Henry V and JUDE LAW is starring. Yeah, you read that right. *swoon* Anyways I'm off to bed now, its been busy! 
Missing you all,

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