Friday, August 5, 2016

The (Really) Old London Report

Talk about a role reversal: We've so far seen more historical sites that speak to Sherry's affinity for history than mine. I think she's more of a history fan than she admits. She reads a lot of historical fiction about Tudor England (and Medieval England, too) and knows quite a bit about which monarch came after which monarch. This is all a pretty bad historical blind spot for me. In fact, Europe before 1789 is a weak patch of my understanding. 

Honestly, I thought the Tower of London was a tower. Not a whole bloody castle. That's pretty embarrassing. 

So far, we've seen a few sites that speak much more to Sherry's wheelhouse of history than mine. 

So, that's the Tower of London. Or at least part of it. 

Sam and Caroline show off chocolate medallions earned through hard work at Westminster Abbey.

From the Mausoleum of Hellicanarssos on display at the British Museum. 
Meanwhile, we did get to see two that spoke more to periods of history I adore. 

I gawked at this cartoon for a good while at Churchill War Rooms

Parliament hit a lot of my historical geek buttons. I event talked with a guide about why we do elections when we do them in the U.S.

This is good for me. It's good for me to be out of my comfort zone and to better set into context the stories I hear of from Britain's past. 

As I went through the Tower and Parliament, what struck me the most was the way in which the bewildering series of kings and queens, and the quirky customs at Parliament, reveal a nation that has evolved rather fascinatingly as a political unit over more than a millennium. Our nation had the good fortune to benefit from these customs that had developed by the seventeenth century. What the English struggled for centuries to create we were able to inherit from birth. Perhaps it's ethnocentric to look for ways in which what they have done explains us, but it's where my mind goes when exploring the rich and more distant past while here. 

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