Email for June 12:
This morning we had breakfast at the hotel again and then headed to the Hyde Park Chapel. As the V&A Museum is literally next door, we started there. We walked through the museum until about 12:45 and then we popped over to sacrament meeting at 1. The Hyde Park chapel has added a little visitor’s center display about the history of the Church in England. After a lovely sacrament meeting (YSA with an American Bishop), we headed back to the V&A. We walked through the entire museum. When we’d finished, we walked down the street to Harrods.
I think if you’re going to walk into a store on Sunday, Harrods is clearly the one. We may have actually been taken somewhat seriously in our dress and tie. The food galleries are my favorite. We walked through those, the perfumerie and a few other rooms and then hopped back on the tube. We headed straight to the National Portrait Gallery and looked at everything there. Then we walked up to Leicester Square… the whole Theatreland area is my favorite.
We then took the tube to the Tower of London where we’re staying at the Travelodge tonight. After our previous three hotels, we feel like we’re staying in a hostel. But, it’s only one quick night so we’re close to the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower tonight and then we’re off to Watford tomorrow for the Harry Potter Studio tour in the morning. It’s been raining on and off all day but we’ve been mostly inside so it’s been alright.
We got dinner at a Tesco around the corner and we ate it in our room watching British telly. At 9pm, we walked down the road to the Tower of London. At 9:30, our Yeoman Warder met up with us at the gate and let us in. He told us stories and led us around until 9:50. At that point, the official ceremony of the keys started. They have to do the whole thing in such precise time that everything has been said and everyone is in the right place when the clock tower chimes ten and then the guard is released to their barracks. 50 people or more live inside the tower. Most of them live in quarters on the building just inside the gates, but a few people live in some of the more inner towers including Lord so and so (don’t remember his name) who is the Constable of the Tower. We saw the lights on. Once we left the tower, we saw the TV shining in a different window. Our warder was awesome, as they all are and it was a great thing to do. Then we walked around to Tower Bridge to walk under it and see it all lit up from the area around the tower. And now we’re eating Galaxy Ripple bars and Hob Nobs and watching yet another tribute to the Queen’s 90th birthday.