Friday, July 23, 2010

23 July 2010 Tower of London, Madame Tussauds

Tower of London building where the Crown Jewels are kept

Mick talking to a Beefeater

Hourly Guard change at the Tower

Mick flirting

Mick encouraged by the response takes things a bit further

Lyn with George Clooney

Mick talking politics with Winston

Mick with Nichole

Michael Jackson

Lyn offering Sir Richard Branson a slurp on her Slushy

Lyn 'Stayin Alive' with John Travolta

Lyn talking cricket with a slimmed down Shane Warne

Mick with Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman. A perfect likeness we thought.

Mick singing Delilah with Tom Jones.

Lyn with the Welsh stud

Lyn at Harrods

Psst, wanna buy a watch for $336,000?

Cloudy cool morning and we set off early to beat the crowds to see the Tower of London. Lyn wasn't interested in the Beefeater talking about the history of the place and wanted to head straight to the vaults where the diamonds were kept.

So that's what we did and they were spectacular. Unfortunately they don't let you take photographs in the Jewel rooms for some reason so you'll have to take our word for the fact that there was an amazing collection of crowns, swords, orbs, sceptres, spurs, chalices and all manner of jewelery mostly made of gold and encrusted with some obscenely large diamonds.

The Indian Koh-I-Noor diamond of 105 carats was spectacular although there was a diamond called the Cullinan diamond in the Royal Sceptre, which weighs in at a massive 530 carats and Lyn wanted one. It was cut from the largest diamond ever found with an unpolished weight of 3601 carats. It is also known as the Great Star of Africa.

As we were leaving the last room full of the crown jewels, we stopped to have a chat with a uniformed lady who was watching the stuff. She had a bit to say about the class structure in England and the way she is looked down on when the toffee nosed gits have a party evening in the tower. Very interesting.

We watched the changing of the ceremonial guard outside the Jewel House. Well at least we think they were ceremonial as they were carrying some serious looking automatic weapons.

We started looking around the 20 towers that make up the Tower of London but our legs gave up with having to climb so may steps.

With only 30 mins before our booked time, we headed off to catch the tube from Tower Hill to Madame Tussauds and arrived at noon.

Our tickets booked online allowed us immediate entry which was just as well as there was a cast of thousands waiting in the walk up ticket queue and they were about to pay more for the privilege.

We entered the gallery which was full of very lifelike figures of famous people so we set about taking pictures of them with us standing next to them. Mick thought that all there were but it turned out there was room after room of them generally broken down into profession. So there was a room full of sportsmen, a room full of politicians, a room full of film stars/actors etc.

It was all very well done and by and large it was difficult to tell that they were wax figures. We thought some of them did not really match their human counterparts for example Shane Warn was quite trim and they didn't quiet get it right and the Beatles didn't really look like them either.

Mostly it was quite easy to get a picture with or other of us standing next to them but occasionally someone would hog the picture talking spot. On one occasion we were getting really annoyed with an Asian girl standing there in front of one of the figures with her camera aimed and every now and again her camera would flash. We got so fed up with waiting that we went and asked her to move. You guessed it, she was a wax dummy. Did we felt like idiots.

After the excellent wax figure show there was a chamber of horrors which was bit gruesome so we took an exit door out of there and went on the last exhibit which was a sort of fairground ride in a taxi on rails which wove through a chamber with displays of different parts of history. Quite good.

All in all well worth the visit. Hope you didn't get bored with the pictures,they are only half of them.

As we had a bit of time left we decided to catch the underground to Knightsbridge where among other posh stores, Harrods is located.

Mein Gott. What a fabulous store it is. They sell practically everything although the prices are a bit high but there is no doubting the quality of the store, the staff and the stuff. How about a watch for £210,000 ($336,000)? See pic. Their wages bill must be huge as there were dozens of staff all beautifully dressed.

Lyn picked up a gift to buy but when she went to the checkout counter which had quite a few cashiers, there was a big queue so she put the item down and we left. We only managed to see a small part of it but it was real eye opener. If you're ever in London and want a shopping experience, it's a must and it was packed with people.

After another great day we headed off home. Tube to Cannon Street then mainline train home. Easy. Oh, and by the way the evening papers are free and there are people outside most of the stations giving them out so you can catch up with the latest news whilst journeying home.

Tomorrow we are off to the Farnborough Air Show in Farnborough, Hampshire. Hoping for less cloud though. It is now on every two years.

1 comment:

  1. Those watches are cheap enough! The figures of Helen Mirren and Nicole look quite real. I thought the same as you, some of the figures are incredibly life like while others are not such good copies. Looks like Madame T is making a fortune in entry fees though.