Getting everyone up and out in the morning can be quite a challenge. Â So much so that I’ve gotten in the habit of taking short journeys in the mornings until everyone is ready to go. Â (By this you should note: Dad still has the most stamina for tourism, something I was wondering about now that the kids are all in their twenties and the years are growing on my own roster. Â Go Dad!) Â This morning, Andy and I walked to the Imperial War Museum, a rather excellent museum containing tanks, planes, really big guns, and various exhibits about Britain’s wars from WWI to the present. Â Here’s Andy with Montgomery’s tank from WWII:
Then it was off to lunch, and then one of the great tourist sites in the world: the Tower of London.
One of the things that makes the Tower of London such a great tourist destination is that it has some of the best tour guides in the world. Â The Beefeaters, or Yeoman Royal Guard, are all retired sergeants from the British army. Â (Well, some are former marines, navy men, or airforce. Â But traditionally they were army.) Â They do a terrific job giving tours that focus on the gorier parts of the Tower’s history, with detailed descriptions of the more gruesome beheadings that took place. Â Here’s the one that gave us a tour today:
Now there’s one thing you should know about this guy. Â He was showed up in a most embarrassing manner by a certain American tourist. Â See, the guide mentioned that Henry II was Edward I’s grandfather. Â Silly him, everyone knows that Henry II was Edward I’s great-grandfather. Â Which a certain uppity colonial told him (while in a break between stops – that colonial isn’t completely uppity!). Â The guide had his doubts, but a quick perusal of Google shows that the colonial was right in this case. Â Hooray for America – we know more about British history than the Brits. Â (Well, some of us do, anyway. Â Some of the more obnoxious of us who love nothing better than to correct a tour guide!)
Then it was off to St Paul’s Cathedral. Â This is my second-favorite building in the world (the first is the Taj Mahal). Â I loved the trip – a quick dash up the spiral staircase to the dome, a quick descent down to the vault under the cathedral. Â Alas, no pictures – they wouldn’t let us take any. Â But we paid our respects to Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington, both of whom are interred here, and I basked in that lovely white marble dome.
We went back to the hotel for a short break, then it was off to the first of the plays for which we have tickets this week. Â “Much Ado about Nothing,” featuring David Tennant and Catherine Tate as the leads. Â If you are of a certain geeky disposition, you’ll know that these were the leads in the British science fiction series “Doctor Who” a couple years back. Â We Dzikiewicz’s are of such a disposition – the girls in particular have a crush on Tennant – so this was a real treat. Â It didn’t hurt that the production was absolutely marvelous.
Note: you won’t see many pictures of Diana in this blog. Â She’s here and having a good time – I assure you! Â (She’s smiling next to Kate in the pre-cropped version of this picture.) Â But she doesn’t like having pictures of her posted online, so the couple of times she’s appeared here, it was with her express permission, for which I am grateful.
Hey, that reminds me of my family. It’s so good to hear it’s not just my kids that get transported half way around the world and want to sleep the time away 🙂
BTW, your son looks just like you
Sounds like a typical Joe trip — exhausting. Curious if you found it distracting, suspension of disbelief-wise, to recognize the actors from another beloved production. We saw Hugo Weaving play the evil judge dude in Hedda Gabler, and every time he opened his mouth all I could think was “MIS-ter AN-derson.”
I’m with Diana, by the way. Still get the creeps about photos of my beloved child floating around out there via FaceBook….