Sunday dawned bright and sunny (ok, so it was cloudy with spots of sun - it's London, what do you expect). Rambler Jane was on a mission to get to the Tower of London so that we could see The Jewels. We headed to the Tube, got an Oyster Card (subway card) and set off to the Tower. The arrive early plan turned out to be a good one. We were there when the Tower opened and made a beeline to the Jewel Tower (the Tower of London is actually a bunch of towers in a castle/fort). The line was short and we moved right in. The jewels are amazing and well worth the visit. The Royal Mint was also originally housed in the Tower of London and that was fascinating as well.
The usual thought of the Tower of London was prisoners and torture. Actually, neither was that prominent through time, although when it came to torture they had it going on. Manacles, the rack and child pose torture (editor's note - think opposite of the rack as you are squeezed together like doing child pose with the help of a vice). After a wonderful lunch on site--no corn dog morass here-- we had a great salmon quiche with cucumber salad--we boarded a Thames River cruise boat for a trip to Greenwich to see the Royal Observatory.
Our experience in France two years ago was confirmed. River cruises are a great way to see a city broadly and with ease. We glided down the Thames past all the old wharves (geek note: Wharf stands for 'warehouse at river front') which are now high end apartments with a number of very old pubs tucked in. Take Mayflower Pub for example. We arrived in Greenwich and toured the observatory. One never realizes that time was such a technological achievement but in the 18th century, it was one of the biggest and remains so today. Modern computing, transportation, commerce etc. would not be possible without highly accurate and standardized time.
It was a full day so we grabbed a quick dinner at The Wolseley before retiring for the night. Unfortunately, the U.S. Open was on so late we could not catch the end but it sounded like a thrilling finish.
Thats all for today, keep on rambling.