Friday, 19 September 2014

What I did On My Holidays - London

This is a somewhat late blog - I am not on holiday  any more, but my laptop has been playing up so I haven't been able to blog for a bit, but it has randomly restarted, so I'm making the most of it!

I decided to go to Amsterdam for a few days, and went via London. I wanted to see the exhibition 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red'',  the installation by Paul Cummins, at the Tower of London, commemorating WWI. 

There will eventually be 888,246 poppies, one for each British fatality during WWI.

It is pretty sobering to see the vast numbers of poppies and to realise that the installation isn't complete yet.

You don't have to go into the tower to see the poppies, but once I got there, I decided to go in and have a look around.

I have been to the tower before, but I was about 8 at the time, so I don't recall it in huge detail.

I was there on a Wednesday, so it wasn't too crowded, and I was able to wander around.

It is impressive - the Tower itself was built by William the Conqueror in around 1078, although  there are Roman ruins on the site -  and it still holds the crown jewels (I went to see them. They are proof that the Royal family has never allowed good taste to
Raven and Yeoman Warder
 stand in the way of Really Glittery Stuff)

There is also an exhibition of armour and wooden horses and stuff. It had my favourite ever caption for an exhibition - after boating that the exhibition has, in one form or another been at the Tower since 1652, it adds proudly "the exhibition was changed several times over the next 300 years"  which you have to admit, is nice, as even the best exhibition can get a bit dull after the first hundred years or so!

There is a dragon on the top floor.

After spending several hours wandering around, I decided to go and hunt book-benches - the National Literacy Trust had arranged for lots of benches, decorated by various artists and celebrating specific books to be placed around London. 

I didn't get to see all the  Books about Town, but did find all of the 'Riverside Trail', from Tower Bridge down to the Globe. 
My favourites were The Librarian, Paddington Bear, and Shakespeare.

And then there were trains and a boat, to get to the Netherlands. It was an interesting day.

More pictures on Flickr for those who may be interested

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