A Day of History

Justin and I had one full day in London to take advantage of together. We planned on rising bright and early to do as much as possible. As it turns out, we both slept in! Clearly, we both needed sleep so we didn’t let it get to us.

I had waited the 3.5 weeks of my program to go to the Tower of London with Justin. I skipped it every time the students went because Justin had never been either. As we got ready that morning to head to the tower Justin said, “Great, I love that place.” What does he mean? Turns out, the two other times Justin had been to London he actually toured the tower! I was a bit disappointed since we could have planned to do something else, but since I had waited to go, there was no skipping it now!

Outside the Tower of London
Tough Guard
He’s Tough too.

 

We wanted to join a guided tour led by a Beefeater, but they postponed our tour by an hour. We knew we needed to keep moving so we had to mosey on by ourselves. We wandered towards The Crown Jewels, because what else could be more exciting than a bunch of crowns and tiaras studded in diamonds and gems? The answer is nothing. That was the best part of our self guided tour.
He Calls This the Sandahl Thumbs Up
Tower Bridge in Background

Our next destination was sure to excite Justin. He loves history, especially the history of World War II. He will even admit that it is his favorite war. For those who find it weird to have a favorite war let me clarify. He isn’t a war hungry person, he simply finds the history behind it fascinating, especially from the perspective of someone currently in the U.S. Military. With that said, I mapped out a plan to go to Winston Churchill’s War Rooms, which is part of the Imperial War Museum. This was also a self guided tour; however, a free audio tour was available. We decided to make the most of it and were certainly pleased with the audio guided tour.

Churchill War Rooms
Excited to Start the Tour
The War Rooms, Left as They Were at the end of World War II

Although I am not a self proclaimed history buff, even though I wish I were, I really enjoyed the war rooms. I was even able to listen in on a phone call, previously recorded of course, between Churchill and FDR. I also made a comment to Justin that as we entered the area of the war rooms I expected to go further under ground. This area was designed to hopefully withstand the German’s bombing attacks. As the tour continued we found out that there was about 5+ feet of concrete above us and was known as, The Slab.

The Slab

We had a lot of things on our list to visit that day, but we both started to lose steam in the late afternoon. We were able to walk for quite some time and enjoy the city on foot which provided some great photo opportunities.

Although we travelled a lot on foot, we also spent a lot of time underground. The two times Justin visited London the majority of their travel was via taxi cabs. The tube was a new experience for him, and not to toot my own horn too loudly, I think I impressed him with my navigation skills as we never got lost or turned around.
Hold on!

The last visit we made was a little bit outside of Central London. It was such a great time to be in London. We were there about three weeks before the opening ceremony for the Summer 2012 Olympics. Talk about energy throughout the city! I wanted to make sure Justin was able to see the Olympic Park while he was there.  We headed towards Stratford to visit Westfield’s, the largest mall in Europe, which I have mentioned in this blog earlier.

Olympic Mascot
Olympic Mascot

And I won’t bore you with more details on the Olympic Park since I have already done that. Justin was glad we made it, five minutes before closing, so he could say he saw the Olympic Park, even if it was from the viewing area at the mall. (They don’t let anyone else get closer. Unless you know how to get past England’s military guards.)

That evening we enjoyed a nice pie dinner at a local pub and took in the scene of the Euro 2012 final. Spain whooped Italy pretty good.
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One Response to A Day of History

  1. Becky says:

    Why don't we hang out more?? Jeromy and Justin would totally be BFF…Jeromy is a huge history guy too, and would say WWII is his favorite war too. It looks like you guys had SO much fun!!

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