Today I went into the core of London. On the recommendations of the receptionist at my hostel I decided to go to the free Natural History Museum first. Located in a beautiful old building in the core of London, this museum houses lots of great exhibits ranging from an exhibit on dinosaurs to one on earthquakes.
After waiting in line for about 10 minutes, I entered and immediately went to the dinosaur exhibit. While there were lots of cool elements, it was crammed full of kids which killed much of the appeal. There is a surprisingly realistic animatronic tyrannosaurus rex which I found impressive. Sadly, hundreds of children also found it impressive so it was a little too packed.
After the dino exhibit things got better though. The enormous mammal exhibit was full of taxidermied animals from around the world. I found it to be an extremely interesting collection and it kept me captivated despite it being my second natural history museum on this trip.
Other exhibits on arthropods and on the human impact on the world were also good. The geology stuff tends to be on the boring side to me personally, but the presentation here was quite good. They even had a earthquake simulator.
After some time checking out the museum I crossed town to the Tower of London. This expensive exhibit is completely worth it. It includes a guided tour by a Yeoman Warder, more commonly known as a beefeater. This tour was one of the highlights of my trip. My guide, @BillyBeefeater (yes, he has a twitter account…), mixed humour and history perfectly. If you go to the Tower of London, do not miss out on these tours.
The crown jewels were amazing. Considerably better than the Scottish crown jewels. They also pretty much perfectly highlight why I am a staunch republican (in the traditional sense of the word, not the American republican party). This ridiculous ostentatious displays of wealth and pomp and circumstance is a little much for me. Apparently the Queen’s Jubilee cost about a billion dollars to host (according to a newspaper I read today). I have no idea how expensive these jewels are, but with the sceptre having the worlds largest diamond, I imagine pretty expensive.
The castle is cool, but not quite up there with Edinburgh Castle. The royal armory is full of past kings’ suits of armour as well as loads of weapons. Now that I think of it, go to the Tower of London if there is a zombie apocalypse. There are enormous gates, and thousands of weapons of all sorts.