I was right on time for the Yeoman Warder Tour – a hilarious hour-long tour of the Tower’s highlights – packed with stories of blood and gore and equal doses of hilarity. Learnt a ton!
I dutifully stopped by the bling first. This is the kind of structure I wish every chronological museum had to aid dimwits like me. A regular channel to walk through with just one side of display without artifacts being all over the place. Anyway. The bling did not disappoint! The Cullinan diamond (the largest in the world, from Africa) sat pretty in the Monarch’s Scepter with a Cross (the others being Scepter with a Dove and the Orb with a Cross), and the Cullinan II was in the Imperial State Crown (the one used for State Ceremonies). The Koh-i-Noor sits in King Edward II’s crown, still used today as the official coronation crown. I was quite impressed with how close one could get to the actual working jewels and regalia on display. Sparkle took on a whole new meaning, much like what it meant in fairy land when I was seven and the world was still filled with wonder.
I ambled along next to the Fusilier’s Museum, much of which I did not follow, except that it was a military regiment in the Tower. I then headed to the White Tower, the first Tower built in this swarming fortress, to the Royal Armories Display. Along with the military prowess dating back to Henry VIII, the architecture of the preserved Tower was dark and dreary and gave it a certain “First Tower” air. I then meandered along the Wall Walk, taking in a few small tower sights.
As I strolled out of the Tower of London, I ran smack into a postcard view of the Tower Bridge. Phew. You pretty, pretty thing. I took my classic walk across the bridge and gawked up close at the architecture.