#33- Tower of London

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Experimenting with a little photo editing in an effort to give the dramatic effect that [my] photography can never quite capture.

A few weeks ago a friend posted about the poppies at the Tower of London on Facebook.  Ever since I saw it I’ve been dying to go.  There are 888,246 red ceramic poppy flowers “planted” around the Tower of London in the grassy area that used to be the moat of the fortress.  There is a poppy flower for each life lost from the British Commonwealth in the first World War.  It’s a breathtaking sight, but I’ll get to that later.  

The city walks with kids card suggested eating lunch at St. Katherine’s docks, which is a little square located in the heart of the city, but it’s just out of the way enough to feel less crowded and busy.  There were some fine looking cafe’s but we discovered a mini-market and just bought street food, empanadas, fillo-pies and more macaroons. (Can I just say I have become obsessed with those spongy colorful treats?!) 

Richard was planning on leaving work early (it was a Friday) to meet us at the Tower so we finished up our lunch and made our way back up to street level. 

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St. Katherine’s Docks- where you can covet all the yachts of the many wealthy Londoners.

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Another edited picture- after posting that first one all my others look totally bland… I’m experiencing a crisis here- if there are any photographers out there reading this- tell me your thoughts about photo editing while being true to the photo and the moment.

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An unedited close-up of the poppies.

I’m really sorry I’m turning this post about the remarkable red poppy display at the Tower of London into an existential crisis about whether or not I should learn how to properly edit photos. 

All of that aside…

The Tower grounds were both majestic and harrowing.  The idea of each flower representing a life, was and is enough to make me emotional and heartbroken over the tragedy of war.  But I am determined to be encouraged and inspired by the British commitment to the memory of these men and women and look forward to other manifestations of their patriotism as the UK remembers 100 years since the beginning of “The Great War.”

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My little soldier- waiting for our tour to start.

We took a free tour when we first entered the tower gates.  It was entertaining, but hard to hear and hard to listen closely with the four kids around.  Cameron was actually quite attentive to the tour guide, but the other kids had a hard time standing in one place for too long.  I also was often confused by our guide’s sense of humor, because half the time I couldn’t tell if he was making a joke, or if in fact the severed head of a king was actually stitched back on for the sake of a portrait being painted of him.
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Oh the executions that took place at the Tower of London. There was an exhibit about torture and executions but I thought it best to avoid it for the sake of the “children.” (Really me. No. Thank. You.)

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The White Tower is the famous structure, built hundreds of years ago, and has been a fixture of the London skyline ever since. It contained the royal armory, the oldest exhibit in London. Apparently the public have been keen on seeing royal armor for a few hundred years.

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Armor for a 13 year old Henry Prince of Wales

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Armor for a five year old King Charles.

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The personal swords of eight Kings. This was one of my favorite exhibits. So much history and power…

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Someone is DONE.

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The Building that houses the Crown Jewels.

We also saw the crown jewels which were also gorgeous, but I have mixed feelings about those too.  It is hard not to be jaded about diamonds these days, and it seems such an excessive and opulent use of money, but I tried to appreciate them nonetheless- for their artistic value and their sparkly glamour.  

There was a lot we missed, but I’m sure we’ll get to go back with other visitors in the future. 

The kids were super exhausted so we bought some snacks to bribe them to keep their legs moving back to the train station and then home. That night we treated my parents to Rox Burger– the burger joint that is all the talk in London and it’s just around the corner from us.  Brioche buns to die for. We had recorded the BSU game for Cameron and so we ate burgers and watched American football, something my dad commented that he had never expected to do in London.  

2 thoughts on “#33- Tower of London

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