Friday, April 29, 2016

#London Visit ~ Churchill War Rooms + #LondonEye #ChurchillWarRooms

A view of Buckingham Palace from
St. James's Park in London
As a writer, I obviously love to write, so I'm chronicling our recent trip to London here on my blog. Days 1 and 2 included attending a Chelsea v. Manchester City Football (soccer) match and a day trip to Stonehenge--that post can be found here.  On our third day, we began with a long and scenic walk through Green Park and St. James's Park to visit the London Dungeon. Not to be confused with actual dungeons in the London Tower, this exhibit is a tourist attraction highlighting some of the darker history of London (the plague, Jack the Ripper, Guy Fawkes, etc.).  I'm a big fan of spooky stuff, and of rides, which were part of this attraction.  It was fun take on history and interactive, with enthusiastic actors. However, my kids had a little trouble understanding some of the thicker accents.  They did enjoy when I got selected to get my tongue ripped out (I hid in a room and got to scream, until I couldn't anymore, because, you more tongue).

Somehow my photo of the London Eye even
appears spooky, but I didn't use a filter or
change the was just a gray day!
From there we rode the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel above the Thames River.  We were able to see the city spread out before us from a maximum height to 443 feet.  There are 32 viewing capsules on the wheel, one for each of the London Boroughs.  After lunch, we made our way back toward Mayfair via Hyde Park, and then visited The Churchill War Rooms.  This was an absolute must-see--so much so that I neglected to take any pictures!  I was that enthralled with literally being inside an underground time capsule from WWII. This compound beneath the Treasury building in Westminster was created as the threat of war in Europe loomed, and finished only days before the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939.  Britain declared war on Germany two days later.  When Winston Churchill became Prime Minister in 1940, he decided he would direct the war from the Cabinet Room down there.  That room and the Map Room were key sites in the structure that housed an entire community for years.  It's truly incredible to picture all the leaders and staff involved in a war effort living together under the city, working under the threat of a direct bomb hit, communicating with the most advanced technology of the times with other world leaders.  And this museum does make it possible for visitors to picture this period in history.  In addition, there is a wing devoted to Winston Churchill's life.

A day well spent!  Next up is our adventure in Paris, including the Catacombs!  Thanks for stopping by.

Parliament from atop the London Eye

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