Day 2: Our Trip to Southern England, March 2000

by Jim Mann
Photos, links and [commentary] by Laurie Mann

Site Map for the England 2000 Trip Site

We slept very well that night. Pushing through our first day there without a nap, then crashing and having a long night's sleep, was the right thing to do. We were actually ready for a day of touring about.

[I am shocked Jim didn't go on and on about the breakfasts. Every morning, he loved getting the big, greasy English breakfasts with baked beans. After the first day, I pretty much stuck to cereal and toast.]

We spent much of the day at the Tower of London. The Tower was the first real palace in London, but it is most remembered as the site where traitors (and others that the kings didn't like and decided were traitors) were imprisoned and, in a few cases, executed. (Most were executed on nearby Tower Hill.) The name is a bit misleading. It is far more than just a tower. It is a castle, made up of an outer wall that encloses an open area and a number of individual buildings and towers.

Henry VIII's Armour and Horse Armour We took two tours. The first was a general tour that took us around the grounds, pointing out some of the major features, but with emphasis on the grizzlier aspects of its history (Richard III's murder of the two princes, Henry VIII's two wives that were executed here, and so on).

St. Thomas More's CellThe second tour was a new one for the Tower, started just this year: the Thomas More tour. We saw the cell where the believe he was imprisoned. It's a tad bigger -- though less comfortable looking -- than the one in A Man for All Seasons. We also saw the Crown Jewels, the armory, and so on. Overall, it's amazing to walk through a place that has experienced that much history.

We then took a boat from the Tower to Westminster Abbey. It is one of two incredibly large old churches in London (the other is St. Paul's). It is the burial place of kings and queens and other prominent people. We walked around the outside, but were two tired to take the tour. We figured we could do that the next day. (This was a mistake; we discovered the next day that they were closed for a day of prayer.)

For dinner, we went to Simpson's. Simpson's is an old time traditional London restaurant, and has been in existence, I believe, since the late 1800s. The fare is good British food -- lamb, roast beef, and so on. We had the roast beef, served "from the cart," where they carve it at your table. It was superb. For desert, I had their bread-and-butter pudding, which was also superb. The meal was a tad pricey, but it was very, very good.

Yesterday's Trip - British Museum
Tomorrow's Trip - Natural History Museum