ISCA visit the Tower of London and London Eye
Today was our first trip into the city of London. Today is also St. Swithin’s day (an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester, where the kids visited yesterday). It is said that if it rains on St. Swithin’s day, England will have 40 days of rain following. However, it only misted for most of the morning here, so I believe us to be safe.
On our way to London, we passed through Wandsworth and Battersea, and the old Battersea power station, made popular on the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals album. Next we passed MI6 headquarters, then up to Lambeth Castle, across the bridge and by the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, and winded our way to the Tower of London!
London Tower has perhaps the most celebrated, mysterious, and notorious past of any of the sites that we visit. The kids learned how the tower was at one time The Royal Menagerie (really a zoo), a prison (where they would often impale the heads of prisoners and traitors on spikes in front of the gates), the place where Anne Boleyn (Henry VIII’s second wife) was beheaded, the place where Richard III disposed of his two nephews, Edward and Richard, so that he could be king, and the home of the Crown Jewels. They met Beefeaters, the old guardians of the monarchy, and the six ravens which currently reside at the Tower and of which it is said that if they leave, the kingdom will fall.
We then took a boat ride up the river Thames, passing St. Paul’s Cathedral and Shakespeare’s Globe among other iconic sites. We docked in the city of Westminster and made our way across the bridge and onto the London Eye, which is 443ft. tall and has 32 capsules, each representing one of the 32 London Boroughs. The sites from the top were spectacular!
We arrived back at Charterhouse to have dinner and then some wind down time with football (soccer) and ultimate frisbee. Tomorrow is our first on-campus day, where the kids will be taught to play several English sports. All is good for now!