EuroTrip 2013 | London Return Day 1: Tower of London, Piccadilly Circus

The different buildings/towers at Tower of London

The different buildings/towers at Tower of London

I’m sitting in the downstairs bar area of our hostel, and it’s unbearably hot – feels like a sauna, and I’m roasting alive. I need to head back up ASAP, so I’ll keep this post short and sweet, just the lowdown on my first day back at London and our visit to Tower of London and Piccadilly Circus.

Tower of London – One of the most famous landmarks in Great Britain. This place was used as a fortress by past kings and queens, and is well-known for its history in dealing with criminals, political prisoners, and traitors. Interesting fact about executions in Tower of London: it was actually considered an honor to be executed in the tower, since most people were executed at Tower Hill outside the grounds. Usually this “privilege” was reserved for more famous or important people.

We walked around the grounds, admiring the old, crumbling walls and listening to our audio guide about the history behind the White Tower, Bloody Tower, and countless other buildings around. We stopped by a reconstructed execution chamber that held some replicas of torture devices that were used, such as the rack.

The highlight of the trip was definitely seeing the Royal Crown Jewels, the actual ones still used by the queen today. Amazing splendor is a phrase I’d use to describe these shining, colorful, breathtaking pieces of headwear and jewelry, inlaid with precious stones and huge diamonds.

The Times Square of Britain

The Times Square of Britain

After the Tower of London, we took the Tube to another well-known London location – Piccadilly Circus. It’s definitely not a real circus – this circus refers to the Latin word for “circle.” Piccadilly Circus is similar to New York’s Times Square, complete with giant billboards, shining lights, and even a huge video screen playing on a building.

We walked around and shopped for souvenirs, then purchased our discount tickets for a musical tomorrow night. We snagged a pretty good deal, getting reasonably good seats for Monty Python’s Spamalot. I’m pretty excited for that, as well as our visit to Stonehenge tomorrow (hopefully) and the Churchill War Rooms.

 

Stay tuned and read about my other adventures in London, Paris, Berlin, Italy, and Spain!

Steps taken: 18,252 | Miles walked: 6.01

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