England

A Quick Tour of the Tower of London

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Idalis Foster is a student at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in London, England.

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The London Eye, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey. Over the course of an hour long bus tour with ISA, I saw all three of these. But the one sight I was not prepared for was the Tower of London.

Admittedly, I had no idea what the Tower of London was before the ISA on-site staff mentioned it as one of the sights to see. So you can imagine my surprise when my friend pointed it out and it wasn’t just a huge tower but an expansive medieval castle.

Not far from this bridge is the London Bridge, which it’s often confused with.

Not far from this bridge is the London Bridge, which it’s often confused with.

On the way around to the front entrance, I got my first sight of the Tower Bridge, and I took at least 20 photos of it. The different colors of the bridge, the medieval style architecture in its design, and the sheer size of it took my breath away. Being from New York, I’m used to seeing bridges and other grand pieces of architecture. But the Brooklyn Bridge, which is from the same time period, isn’t as intricately designed. You can see the details in the Tower Bridge from the coat of arms to the walkways at the top, pretty impressive for a bridge that’s 122 years old.

This was the first building we saw going in the main entrance and where my friends and I went to see the exhibit of armor and weapons.

This was the first building we saw going in the main entrance and where my friends and I went to see the exhibit of armor and weapons.

Going into the Tower of London, we were able to see the “Beefeaters,” or as they prefer to be called, the Yeomen Warders giving tours of the castle. The White Tower loomed over us. It’s the tower in the center of the whole castle and has a whole collection of the armor and weapons used years ago as well as a long history on the wars fought from the Tower of London. There was even an interesting dragon made out of all of the weapons and armor they seized from their enemies.

The queue doubled right after my friends and I went over to it so our timing was pretty lucky.

The queue doubled right after my friends and I went over to it so our timing was pretty lucky.

Our very first stop though was to see the Crowned Jewels of course. Funnily enough, there’s a moving walkway that you get on to see the jewels so you really only have the amount of time it takes to get across to see each and every one of the jewels. My personal favorite was the Imperial State Crown which held so many jewels that in 1937 its frame had to be replaced because the previous frame was weighed down by them.

Seeing such modern buildings in contrast to the Tower of London was a great reminder that London is a blend of old and new.

Seeing such modern buildings in contrast to the Tower of London was a great reminder that London is a blend of old and new.

The world awaits…discover it.

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