- 1. 8/25 Arriving in Edinburgh
- 2. 8/26 Edinburgh
- 3. 8/27 Scotland – West Highland Lochs & Castles
- 4. 8/28 Edinburgh Castle
- 5. 8/29 North England – Holy Island, Bamburgh & Alnwick Castle
- 6. 8/30 Edinburgh – Palace of Holyroodhouse
- 7. 8/31 Scotland – Loch Ness, Glencoe & Highlands
- 8. 9/1 Edinburgh – National Museum of Scotland
- 9. 9/2-9/7 Family Visit in Dawlish
- 10. 9/8 London
- 11. 9/9 The Tower of London
- 12. 9/10 London – Westminster Abbey
- 13. 9/11 London – Buckingham Palace
- 14. 9/12 London Museums
We visited the Tower of London, a medieval castle by River Thames. If, like me, you’re interested in ancient military fortresses, you don’t want to miss this.
The Tower of London is the equivalent of Edinburgh Castle in London. They were both fortified royal palaces and therefore witnessed a history of wars and politics. There were both the storage place for their respective Crown Jewels. And like any fortified building in Paris, they were both used as prisons.
The difference was the Scottish Crown Jewel exhibition focused on history and tradition; whereas the English Crown Jewel exhibition focused on the art craft of diamond and gold, and they were truly spectacular. Fortunately, I saw the Scottish Crown Jewels first, otherwise I might have found them disappointing compared to the English ones. Having seen various forms of royal spoons on exhibition, Complicated Rain murmured all day about royal banana and royal Kleenex.
Regarding the prison function, Edinburgh Castle was used as military prison and prison of war, while the Tower of London was famous for being a political prison, jailing important figures, such as King Henry VIII’s wives, Queen Elizabeth I, top ranking bishops, and many people who were charged of treason and executed, sometimes arbitrarily.
A tip for those who may want to visit some day, you don’t need the warder tour or audio guide in the Tower of London (you don’t need them in Edinburgh Castle either). They were only distractions. There were plenty of panels and videos explaining the history, and you could also walk along the castle walls and see interesting exhibitions inside guard towers.
Complicated Rain seemed concerned with the price of the previous day’s Polish restaurant, which had £££ on Yelp and cost us £60 including tip, so we went to a ££ Italian restaurant named Rocca near South Kensington station for dinner. The environment was a bit noisy and crowded, but the food was great, and it cost only £20 in total! By reverse-engineering the price notations on Yelp, we came to the conclusion: the first £ buys you a table, the second £ buys you food, the third £ buys you ambience, and the fourth £ buys you snobbery.