Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vacation Recap - Day 4

Day Four was another busy day, and the day with the most recorded steps...22,245! We started off the day at the Tower of London. The Tower is one of my favorite sites in London. Once we entered the front gates, we met up with a Beefeater (also known as Yeomen Warders) for a tour of the grounds. Though they mostly serve as tour guides, they are still military and can be prison guards if the need should arise. I have found that the Beefeaters are always quite entertaining story tellers, and part of why I love the Tower so much. We got shown around the grounds, including the spot inside the Tower were the private executions were held. Both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, both wives of Henry VIII, and Jane Parker Boleyn (sister-in-law of Anne Boleyn) were all beheaded here. After the tour we quickly headed to see what I consider the main attraction....THE CROWN JEWELS! It is just amazing to see the jewels that belong the the Royal family and to hear stories about where they came from. Both the Cullinan I and II diamonds are found in the Crown Jewels coming in at 530.2 carats and 317.4 carats respectively. Talk about impressive! After all the beauty, we headed into the White Tower for an exhibit on Henry VIII and armor. The White Tower can be seen below and is the main building in the center of the Tower of London.

Once we finished touring the Tower, we headed just outside the walls to get a great view of the Tower Bridge. This is another iconic London site, that is often times mistakenly thought the be the London Bridge, which is actually the next bridge upstream (and a very unassuming bridge at that).
We then headed into the City for a quick lunch and on to see St. Paul's Cathedral. The St. Paul's that is standing now was designed by Sir Christopher Wren (I know, you keep hearing his name!). Wren presented several designs and the final design that was chosen had many elements similar to St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. The first stone was laid in 1677 and the cathedral was completed in 1708, on Wren's birthday. Like Westminster Abbey, there are many memorials including Christopher Wren, the Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill, and Florence Nightingale. There are also many memorials to service men and women, including on to the US forces that fought with Britian in WWII. Another fun bit of trivia is that this is where Charles and Diana were married.

After all of that history, we headed back to the other side of town for one final stop for the day, Harrod's! Harrod's is a department store, but like no other department store you have ever been in. The store is seven stories and 4.5 acres of shopping! As you enter, the give you a whole booklet as a guide of where to find anything and everything you might want. Some of the highlights were the Christmas area (that was just set up a few weeks before we got there), the pet store, the extreme children's toys, and the food halls. You can get absolutely everything within the walls of Harrod's.
Below is my food for today. I forgot to mention yesterday that I am officially back on the work out wagon. Yesterday I did my 30 minutes on the treadmill, and today I did my random workout...a hip hop cardio video that I found on my On Demand.

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