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London, Winter 2009

 

Unlike my friend and critique partner, Deb, I love Jane Austen books. So when she offered to take me to Bath (after I offered to take her to London) I didn’t even hesitate. Standing there in The Circus, where Jane must have walked herself 100’s of times, was a dream come true for me.

 

Then, off to tea in the Jane Austen Centre for an afternoon repast.
Of course I had my picture taken with Mr. Darcy. Hmmm, I think he wants his picture straightened out. Love that Colin Firth.
After picking up a few items in the gift shop, we practically jogged to the train station in order to catch the next one. My only regret was that we didn’t have enough time to go check out the Roman baths. Oh, darn, I guess I’ll just have to go back.
I wish I had a picture of the little circle in in London that Deb and I found ourselves in after getting lost in dark and rainy London. But it was exactly as I imagined the twisty winding cobbled streets of London to be according to Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
Another spectacular sight in London was the Tower Bridge, and close by the Tower itself. Somehow, about a month before we left for our trip to Europe, Deb and I saw a reference to the Ceremony of the Keys on a travel show. You have to request tickets up to three months in advance. We figured we’d try anyway and about two days before we left, the tickets showed up in the mail.
 
The Ceremony of the Keys takes place inside the castle walls and cameras are forbidden except as you leave. Deb and I got there early and nearly froze to death with a handful of other tourists. But it was totally worth it. You can’t talk during the ceremony and in December, it’s already pitch dark outside when it starts around 10pm. This ceremony has been performed every year, at the exact same time every night for over 700 years. Even during World War II when the bombs were dropping. It was amazing to stand there at the base of the Tower where Kings and Queens sought protection, where Anne Boleyn stayed until her execution, along with countless other traitors to the throne. It’s truly breathtaking to stand there and imagine the history that came before.
As much of London and Bath as we saw, there is still so much left to explore. What do you say Deb? Ready to go back and get some more pictures? I love research.

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