Got up and out of room by 8:30. Stopped at Starbucks and then took the tube to the Tower of London.

Walked around the Tower. Since it was before 10 when we got there, we went to see the Crown Jewels first. Good move, as there was absolutely no line.

One of the diamonds in a scepter from ~1650 was about the size of a small hen’s egg! Whoa!!

They have this moving walkway in front of the cases holding the jewelled crowns and scepters, etc. Guess that’s how they keep the crowds flowing. From the looks (and length) of the ropes forming lines to get to the the jewels, thousands of people must line up each day to see them! We hit it at the perfect time; I went back 2x to get better looks.

We then walked around the armory (with all the various suits of armor, etc.). Noted the Norman “toiliet” – was just a slightly slanted tunnel in the side of the wall, and just dumped right out the side of the tower.

Had to get back to the hotel to return the camera, get our bags and get to the airport, so we couldn’t see much more. We did see the Ravens that live at the tower. Myth has it that when the Ravens leave, the empire will collapse.

We took a private car from the Hotel to the airport. The concierge-lady recommended this as both economical and easy. It was; at 35 pounds it is worth it for the convenience – no subway, bus, etc. Don’t take a regular taxi, since they charge by time. The private car (nice Mercedes) was a fixed price for the trip. The driver (black guy originally from Jamaica, but in the UK for >30 yrs) was a riot. He gave us his philosophy on driving, and driver etiquette. I’ll request hime again!

Plaza Executive Cars 020 7724 0000

We made it from the Hotel to Heathrow in ~30 minutes (at 12:30 in the afternoon).

The Air Canada wench at checking made me weigh my carryon (backpack). You are supposedly only allowed 10kg per bag for carryon. This was news to me; they didn’t weigh or restrict it COMING to the UK. Mine was 18 kg, so she made me check it. What a pain in the ass. I took out some stuff, but had to leave some fragile souvenirs, etc. in it.

Had to claim our bags in Ottawa, then go through both Canadian and US customs. We would have missed our connecting flight to Washington DC (Dulles) – we only had an hour layover and arrived late – but the connecting flight was delayed an hour or so. We made the connection, got to Dulles (only an 90 minute flight), got the bags, and took a taxi back to the Lady’s place. Had to work the next day, so I went back to my place. Got to my place about 10pm, which was 3am “my time”. Night Night.