On the way to the UK we had business class seats and it was so cool, you could recline all the way flat and have a variety of all kinds of movies. In London, we saw everything from castles to Maoi statues. We also saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace in the rain.
We went to Harrod’s, one of the biggest department stores in the world. It has one room just for Egyptian escalators!!
They have a trendy watch store with a very cool, romantic watch. It has a man and a woman who keep getting closer to each other on a bridge, and then, at midnight, they kiss and move back to far away. We talked to the Manager of the store (it is called Van Cleef and Arpels) and he told us all about the thousands of pieces that go in each watch and how they work. Some of the watches were hundreds of thousands of dollars for one. The best part was the first floor where the food halls are. There are 2 separate rooms that have all candy. One of them is all for chocolate. There was one counter called Charbonnel et Walker and they had the best. There is a Krispy Kreme doughnut store in there, then a bunch of lollipops.
We also saw the Tower of London, home to the Crown Jewels and the Traitor’s Gate. The crown jewels are huge. The king’s crown has one of the biggest diamonds in the world. You stand on a moving walkway and it takes you past the jewels. You can’t stop to look at just one thing, but, you can get on the walkway over and over again. The Traitor’s Gate is a water infested gate. Boats would bring prisoners through the gate to go to their cell. One of the most interesting things I learned was poo duty. Poo duty is if anyone makes the king mad they got poo duty. That means they had to clean the garderobes (aka the toilet hole(hole with hay inside)). They had to stuff the dirty hay out a hole in the castle with a stick (that is how the saying “the wrong end of the stick” was made) and if you get the pooey end of the stick then boo hoo for you.
The key ceremony is a traditional ceremony of locking the doors to the Tower of london. First, the beefeater fetches the keys. Then, he walks up to a guard and the guard aims his musket at him and yells out “WHO GOES THERE?” He answers, “the keys.” They go back and forth until the guard knows who he is. Then, the beefeater locks the doors of the castle. He has soldiers that march along with him and carry a lantern so he can see. It happens every single night at 9:57 p.m. – no sooner and no later. Except once, during the war, when London got bombed, they started a little bit late because they had to let the dust clear. They have done it for over 700 years. Our Blue Badge Guide, John Gowing, told us that. He was the coolest tour guide ever. He taught us so much I feel like a brainiac. We learned about Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and the London Bridge and Tower Bridge. The real London Bridge is in Arizona now.
We also saw Ollivander’s wand shop from Harry Potter, which is now a glasses store (rip off.) Saw platform 9 3/4 which is under construction for the Olympics (rip off again). So there is a vivid poster of bricks with a part of a trolley sticking out.
And then we went to the British Museum and saw the Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta Stone was written in 3 different languages, I think it is Egyptian hieroglyphs and Aramaic and something else. We also saw the Elgin Marbles (we thought they were real marbles to play with), Maoi,(a big head statue from Easter Island) and lots of Egyptian artifacts(including sarcophagi).
We went to the National Science Museum and saw so many cool inventions. It was so fun, they have one room just for geography, and one for old medicine inventions like vaccines for Smallpox, and a flat screen TV that showed Rube Goldbergs. Rube Goldbergs are awesome contraptions that get little things to happen, like turning on a light with no hands allowed… Unless you start your contraption up, like pulling up your window shade for a prism to concentrate the light to set fire to a rope and so on, then it is allowed for that one time.
The London Eye was good. It takes a half hour for your capsule to get all the way around and you can see the whole city.
We also went to Hampton Court Palace and we got to do the maze. It is made out of these tall shrubberies (Ni, Ni, NI!), so you can’t see the whole maze and figure out the answer. We figured out the answer.
I learned a lot about London and I think it is a great city.