Traitors and the Thames

IMG_3571 IMG_3545

This morning started out with a ride on the Thames. For the life of me, I cannot remember how to pronounce the name right. It’s really pronounced like the “Tems,” but I can’t get the hang of it. It’s a beautiful river, though. We had a boat cruise that showed us the riverbanks as one of the staff members pointed out important buildings to us.

The skyline of the city is very interesting because there is a huge juxtaposition between old buildings like the Palace of Westminster, where Parliament is housed, and newer buildings like the Shard, a 87-storey skyscraper made completely of glass. This building especially stood out against the Tower of London, which was established in 1066 by William the Conqueror.

I think the Tower of London has to be one of my favorite places in London. I have grown up reading books like Ken Follet’s Pillars of the Earth, which has opened a gateway for me to the world of 12th century England. I felt more connected to the place I was in because I had a better sense of its history based on what I read in Pillars as well as what I learned in my history courses. I felt slightly skeeved knowing that Anne Boleyn, among countless others who were named traitors, were beheaded just a few feet away from me.

I’ll try not to think about that too much when we go out for dinner tonight!