England 2016 – The Tower of London

My trip to England began with a visit to the Tower of London.  

At the moment, I am sitting at the international terminal in Philidelphia.  To save money, I created my own flight schedule, and thus had to walk from terminal B to A-west, with my luggage, outside.  Took about 10 minutes, which was a struggle after a morning 6-mile hike and eight-hour shift at Whole Foods yesterday.  The walk (the airport) brought back memories of New York City life – dirty, crowded and impersonal.

 

The Delta flight from RDU was good.  The flight attendant, just one, was very personable and funny.  It helped on such a small jet, and I scored a front seat with lots of legroom.

Not impressed with the airport except for the wi-fi.  Poor selection of eating establishments, not what I wanted during a four-hour layover. See my Facebook post on the return visit to Philly. Bad.

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Four-hour layover, time for a meal and a few beers. 

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Tuesday, April 26   The Tower of London

The flight across the pond was very smooth, allowing for at least a  few hours sleep.  I took the Heathrow Express to Paddington station where sister Patti picked me up.  After a short nap and walk to the local cafe for a cappuccino, I took a bus to Oxford Street to meet Patti in front of Selfridges.  The British television show, Mr. Selfridge, has been a regular for me the past few years so it was interesting to walk around the store.  Did I buy anything, not on your life$$$$.

After a quick tour of the American Embassy,  we stepped out into a snow shower and thunder, then Patti, Tim and I walked over to the Hung, Drawn, and Quartered Pub for a pint.

We spent the next three hours at the Tower of London, an extraordinary experience!  We got an after-hours tour led by one of the Yoeman Warders, a member of the Beefeaters Order.  The talk was rich in history, humor, and gore.  Here is a link where you can learn more about the Tower of London  and the Beefeaters. Think Anne Boleyn, Thomas Moore and others who were beheaded as traitors to the monarchy.   We had exclusive access to the pub.  Our group comprised of local law enforcement officers and their guests, enjoying a hot meal, good British beers and a fun charity raffle to wrap up the evening.  At exactly 10pm we attended the Keys Ceremony, a 750-year-old tradition that has been “performed” EVERY night, even through the bombings of London, for SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY YEARS !   Through rain, snow, sleet ….you get the idea.  It is a very special posting for seasoned military officers.  Highly recommend you explore this when in London.

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Shirt and Tie Affair

Beefeater
Beefeater

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jack thigpen
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jack thigpen

Where are the ravens? Great post!

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