I had the privilege of visiting Edinburgh, Scotland with a friend over the past 2 years. We decided not to go this year but I am reminded of the beauty, fun and eloquence of visiting The Royal Mile. Edinburgh Castle sits on volcanic rock at the top of Royal Mile. I was out of breath when I reached the top of the Royal Mile, even though I did not walk a mile! St. Margaret’s Chapel is the oldest building in Edinburgh. It was first built in the 12th century and was not used after the reformation. Fortunately, it was restored in 1851-1852 with the support of Queen Victoria. Interesting to note that the style of architecture was during the reign of David. I thought that was pretty cool!
Day 3 – June 11, 2016 – Tower of London & City Sights
Tower of London was one of my favorite sites to visit during my 2 week tour. I was overwhelmed by the enormity of it. It is a City in of itself! I always thought the tower was fictional….boy was i wrong!!!!! When I stepped foot on the land I couldn’t wait to see what this tower was all about. I was in shock and excited all at once. I wanted to know why this tower still stood after 100s of years, and yes my friends what happened there was real.
I love taking photos of doors and I was in the right place to witness these old doors. The picture below is called “Traitors Gate.”
The gate was built by Edward I. This gate was a water gate to provide entrance to the Tower. It provided additional accommodation for the royal family. … The name Traitors‘ Gate has been used since 1544 or sooner.
Above is the armor and weapons that was used 100’s of years ago. This is only a snapshot of the gallery.
History of Tower of London:
- Located in Central London
- Housing the Crown Jewels. Crown Jewels are the most popular attraction. The Jewels include the crowns worn by the monarch at coronation and at the opening of Parliament. Unfortunately, most of the Royal regalia was destroyed in the mid 17th Century.
- Records office
- Barracks and armory for troops
- Royal residence
- 900 year old Castle
- It was a place where wild animals were kept for 600 years. Elephants, Ostriches, Lions, Polar Bears etc. The animals where given as gifts to the monarch during that time.
William the Conqueror started the Tower in the early 1080’s. The Tower was continuously being built into the 16th century. It was built to signify Norman Power. The tower encompasses over 12 acres. Monarchs and common criminals were imprisoned in the tower. Sons of Edward the 1V were killed there (2 Princes) and Henry the 8th wives – Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard were both imprisoned and executed. In the late 18th & 19th centuries, the tower was used less for prisoners.
The White Tower:
Day 2-June 10, 2016: Arrived in London
Before we took our tour we checked in at Park Plaza Hotel Riverbank London. We walked to pick up our bus and it felt like I was in a different land. The right lane traffic was headed towards me. I didn’t know whether to turn right or left. It was a little off-putting at first and it kept me on my toes! We arrived in central London to visit the famous landmarks and I must say it was absolutely perfect to ride the panoramic bus on Day 2 – due to the fact I was a little tired. I was over-whelmed by the enormity of the city and buildings. History spans back 1000’s of years. We saw Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, The Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, and many other buildings that would be impossible to name.
Below is a picture of St. Paul’s Cathedral. The interior was spectacular and inspiring. The current Saint Paul’s Cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, previous building was burned down in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Since AD604 this Christian Cathedral dedicated to St. Paul as been located in the City of London. Below is a picture of the building. My only regret is I did not utilize good time for pictures. Sleepiness took over!
Recently I had the opportunity to travel to the UK and Northern Ireland with a group of wonderful people from the East Coast on a Tour with CIE. I hesitated doing a tour knowing how much I like to be in control…but knowing I did not have to make any arrangements such as booking hotels and places to visit was a big relief. My 2 week agenda was all taken care of and so was my breakfast and dinners.
Our first stop was in London! I had the opportunity to ride on a Panoramic Bus to visit famous landmarks in Central London. Taking pictures was not a problem because of this. What I liked most about this City Tour was the history and the buildings dating back to the 1080’s. I was awestruck! My favorite sight was the “Tower of London” ~ The Tower was started in the early 1080’s by William the Conqueror. As time went on Palace buildings were being added into the 16th century. Check out the picture below and know that is only a snapshot of the enormity of it. Over the years so much went on in the castle such as keeping prisoners, executions of 3 english Queens , Coins were made there for England and so much more. I definitely would go back for their was so much I did not see.
“Tower of London”
Our tour came to a close in Liverpool, England where Paul McCartney and John Lennon lived. We were able to tour their homes AND Penny Lane is a real Street.
I was surprised that we ate the same food for breakfast in England, Ireland and Scotland. Sausage, bacon, eggs, bread and baked beans were the staple items. I loved the Irish Stew in Ireland and skipped out on “Haggis” in Scotland. Hotels and accommodations were excellent. Everything ran so smoothly. There was not one hiccup. If your itching to go “Just Do It”.
Scotland was one of my favorite places in the UK. The mountains, villages, Castles and hills are something to marvel at. It really is as beautiful as it looks on television. A second trip is on my agenda. Ireland was beautiful as well. There was no place where I did not see beauty! The Cliffs of Moher will put you in “awe” and the grounds where the Blarney Castle nestles was jaw dropping. Ireland really is an historic place. History goes back to the Roman times and the Castles are still standing. I would go back just to visit the Castles in a heartbeat.
“The Cliffs of Moher”