Tuesday, February 08, 2011

In between the towers

So we had our first proper day out of the year on Saturday - a jaunt down to the Tower of London care of cheap coach tickets and a two-for-one entrance voucher. I'm sure the places that do still charge have got disproportionally more expensive since we got free entry to so many other museums etc. Anyway the two offers combined gave us a relatively inexpensive blast of history and we made sure to get the best value out of it. The tower website has suggestions for what to do if you only have 1, 2, or 3 hours to spare for your visit (I can't imagine anyone being prepared to spend £17 a head for only one hour, but there were people already leaving when we arrived just after 10) and we stretched it out to 6. The weather was not the best for photos as while dry the skies stayed grey all day, but clicking on the picture will take you to more on flickr.

It was a pleasant surprise to find that while there have been many changes since MrsB and I last visited some 15 years ago, they have mostly been for the better. Most of the material on display in the various towers is still presented with "here are the facts" boards rather than some ghastly interactive nonsense, and while there was one area with a trio of actors attempting to get people involved it was definitely the only one. Of course there are still plenty of Yeoman Warders/Beefeaters wandering about and giving tours (free!) as well as other custodians, but they were good at blending into the background while still being obvious for those with questions. I lost count of how many steps we went up and down through the various towers and wall walks though.

Despite never having lived there, I feel almost as at home in London as I do, well, at home. OK so we go down fairly often and always have done, and every other show on the TV manages to squeeze in gratuitous establishing shots of the landmarks even if the action takes place in some dingy back street, but that doesn't explain why I feel comfortable with the city. Take me to other large centres and I can feel very tense and nervous of crowds - maybe I just expect it here so don't notice it so much. We also had a short stroll along the river bank before heading for home whcih was nice and again highlighted a few places to add to future visits.

I do think it is important to keep visiting places such as this whenever we have the chance. It is all too easy to dismiss them as something for the tourists and forget about what we do have at home (well, not exactly at home for someone living in Felixstowe, but you know what I mean). Not sure where our next target for a trip will be. Since listening to the History of the World in 100 Objects series I do want to go back to the British Museum and see them in the flesh so to speak, but there are so many other places we haven't seen at all.

This weekend we have a trip to a local theatre for an adaptation of three Dickens Ghost stories which promises to be spooky, then the weekend after that I seem to be turning 40 so frankly anything could happen.


John Medd said...

See any ravens?

Simon said...

Yup - pic on flickr!

Ishouldbeworking said...

I love the Tower of London! Did you see this bloke?


Simon said...

Oh, he's good!