This week Miss Cynthia’s travel agent training includes a tour of London!
London, England’s capital, is a 21st century city with a fascinating history spanning back to Roman times. One of its many iconic attractions include Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London. This historic castle is located on the north bank of the River Thames.
My visit included a Yeoman Warder tour which is popular among visitors to the tower. The Yeomen Warders, more commonly known as ‘Beefeaters’, entertained the crowd with tales of royal intrigue, imprisonment, scandals and executions. The Beefeaters have long been recognized as symbols of London. It is believed that their nickname came from the fact that as their position in the Royal Bodyguard they were allowed to eat as much beef from the King’s table as they wanted. They have been Royal Bodyguards since at least 1509, but their origins stretch back further to the reign of Edward IV (1461-83). The warders of today are required to have no less than 22 years of armed forces service and are eager to answer questions from the visitors about the Tower.
The absolute highlight of my visit to the Tower of London was to view the Crown Jewels. The tower has been a stronghold for these treasures since 1100. These dazzling pieces of eye candy are the most powerful symbols of the British Monarchy and hold cultural significance in Britain’s history. The precious objects feature some of the world’s largest and most interesting gems. The brilliance of these jewels both mesmerized and enchanted me, giving way daydreams of being royal!
Another draw to the Tower of London is the Legend of the Ravens. Legend says that the tower and the monarchy will collapse if the six ravens ever leave the fortress. There are six required ravens, and a few spares. These birds respond only to the Raven Master and we were told not to approach them as they will bite if they feel their territory is being threatened – so be careful!
Speaking of being careful, the bottom of the tower houses an exhibition about prisoners and torture. Another exhibition covers over 500 years of royal amour starting from the Tudor period.
After a crisp fresh fall morning touring, daydreaming, learning and appreciating The Tower of London, it is time to move on to another London attraction!