Way up, eye feel blessed

Reagan Villet 6/9/16

There are many tourist-y things that one must do when visiting London:

  1. Visit Buckingham Palace
  2. Take a Picture in a Red Phone Booth
  3. Visit the London Eye
  4. Visit the Tower of London.

I have already done #1 (see this post to find out more), and I can now cross #3 and #4 off the list (only one more to go!).

To start out the morning, we headed to the Tower of London. I had heard about the tower many times before and seen many advertisements for it around the city, but I really did not know what to expect. Just walking in to the tower, I was completely blown away by it’s immaculate size. From the outside it looks large, but the inside is somehow much bigger than you would expect. The view from the tower is also unbelievable, with a river-side skyline on one side, and a city skyline on the other.

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Skyline from the Tower of London (6/9/16)
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A view of the London Bridge from the Tower of London (6/9/16)

The tower holds a lot of history, including a “royal zoo” of sorts, the royal armory, and the crown jewels. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures in the crown jewel exhibit (which I learned the hard way…sorry security!). The crowns were absolutely stunning, with each one looking the same, yet holding its own different beauty with colored gems and pearls. I really enjoyed one particular video they had at the exhibit, which showed the current Queen Elizabeth’s coronation ceremony, as well as the objects and outfits that have been used for coronations for many centuries.

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Entrance to the Crown Jewel exhibit (6/9/16)
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Entrance to the Queen’s coronation room in the Crown Jewel exhibit (6/9/16)

The zoo was not really a zoo, but was in fact a collection of gifts that the royal family received; they had an elephant, lions, monkeys, trained ravens, and even a polar bear, as well as many other exotic animals.

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The Royal Beasts plaque (6/9/16)
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Trained ravens at the Tower of London (6/9/16)
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The diet of the trained ravens (6/9/16)

The final stop on our tour was the Royal Armory, where all of the past kings armor and weapons are kept. It was really interesting to see the actual size of the previous kings, as they are always portrayed as tall, strong, and mighty in films and pictures, but were various different heights in person. It was also really cool to see the different styles and sizes of weapons that were used over the years.

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The Line of Kings at the Royal Armory (6/9/16)
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A map of the Tower of London as a fort (6/9/16)

After the Tower of London, we quickly headed across town to the ITV television Station. Our group received a tour of the set of talk show Loose Women, the UK equivalent of The View. We were able to actually interact with the set and try our hand at filming on the cameras. I have never considered working in the television industry before, but seeing the work that goes in behind the scenes was really cool, and knowing that there is a job perfect for my major will definitely have me looking in to this industry as a possible career path.

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“Hi, welcome to Rachel Reagan!”. Me hosting an impeccable cooking show (6/9/16)

The final stop of my day was a trip to the London Eye. Last week, our group had a scavenger hunt through London with the prize being tickets to the Eye (which are not cheap!). My team raced through the city and came in first, so we cashed in on our prize on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. The view was great, especially Big Ben!

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The London Eye (6/9/16)
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View from the London Eye (6/9/16)
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View from the London Eye (6/9/16)

I finished the day with a delicious 99 in an Oyster shell cone! The weather has been surprisingly perfect while we have been here, and the views of the day were to die for. One more thing on my checklist, and I will officially be a true London tourist!

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A 99 Oyster by the river (6/9/16)

 

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