Then, I began my day out by wandering towards Bermondsey Street in search of breakfast from the famed Fuckoffee coffee shop, via a grave yard. The maps on my phone got somewhat confused, so I ended up at a different spot to the intended destination, but it was warm and they had breakfast burgers so all was not lost.
After breakfast, I continued getting lost by confusing London and Tower Bridge, ending up at the Tower Bridge Engine Rooms instead of the London Bridge Experience. I did, however, love the steam engines, and made friends with the ticket attendant who was also an electrical engineer.
I continued my Tower Bridge tour by ascending the bridge and walking over the glass-bottomed walkways. I also saw a number 78 bus cross the bridge, the same number bus which infamously jumped the bridge while it was opening. The driver of the bus, named Albert, was rewarded 10 pounds for completing the feat without injuring any passengers and continued his career without incident.
After returning to bridge level, I crossed the bridge to the Tower of London. I was just in time for a Beefeater-led tour. Our Beefeater’s name was Clive and he was incredibly entertaining and very knowledgable. I was the only Australian on the tour and Clive made a point of welcoming me “home”. We saw the mint where Isaac Newton worked, the prison tower which held Sir Thomas Moore and Anne Boleyn (amongst others) and the two gates which Anne Boleyn used to access the tower, first as a queen and later, as a traitor.
We were treated to more Anne Boleyn anecdotes, including the particularly gruesome one where her lips kept moving as she prayed after she had been decapitated.
We also spent some time in the chapel, above the traitors’ unmarked graves, listening to more stories such as how the Duke of Monmoth had his head sewn back on after his execution upon the realisation that a portrait hadn’t been painted and they needed a portrait. At least our current obsession with selfies would have yielded some benefit in this situation…
I had a wander around after the tour, saw the crown jewels (which I had always thought would be high in a tower, but disappointingly were actually on the ground floor) and treated myself to a pair of Princess Diana earrings, using the excuse that I had only brought two pairs of earrings with me and I had lost one of the first pair and the back of one of the second pair.
I made the most of my mistake, wandering around the area and stopping at a little market before trying to catch the tube home. My misadventure trying to find the Jubilee Line from Canary Wharf’s light rail led me to Sweaty Betty, my favourite active wear brand which I had never actually had the opportunity to visit in person. I walked away with less spending money, but more Sweaty Betty gear.
I hadn’t actually planned to have such a long day given that I was still feeling quite ill, but my curiosity got the better of me each time I thought I was going home.
I spent the evening watching QI with the cats, while drawing and blogging.