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Boxing Day, London Dungeon and Mdm. Tussaud


Home -> City trips -> London -> Travelogue London -> 26 December 2001

Wednesday 26 December, Boxing Day, London Dungeon and Mdm. Tussaud

British cab LamppostOn wednesday we get up very early and a bright sun is shining outside. But our mood gets even better because there will be public transport going, today. No more sore feet! First we go to Madame Tussaud, for the travel guide tells us to be very early there. But even then there is already a long line, at least half a kilometer, and we decide to come back late in the afternoon.
At Buckingham PalaceWe walk towards Buckingham Palace because we have to have a look at it and we are exactly in time (unintentional) for the changing of the guard. There are lots of people but we have a good place: we are glad we have not bothered to be here early, like many other people have. To the right the Queen Victoria Memorial before the palace.
Changing of the guard Changing of the guardThe ritual of changing the guard takes almost 45 minutes and we wonder what these soldiers must be thinking all the time. Looking at it for the first time, we get already bored after 15 minutes...
Hotel in a former church HarrodsFrom Buckingham Palace we then walk through Kensington and Hyde Park to see the Harrods building. On the way there we encounter some nice houses (left: a church rebuild into a hotel in Kensington) and squares.
Harrods is a famous store in London, but unfortunately closed today and the next two days, so we won't have the opportunity to get in. But from the shop windows one can tell how luxurious it must be inside. And it is a large building: it takes us almost 15 minutes to walk around it.
Victoria & Albert museumAfter a short lunch break in one of the pleasant tearooms, we walk past the Victoria & Albert museum towards the subway and are on our way to the London Dungeon.
The London DungeonIn the London Dungeon we are taken back in time, into the dark Middle Ages of England and London. Any romantic ideas we could have had about this period melt away in this place. They show people living in dumps, rotting away in prison cells and dangling from a rope. We have just entered when Elisabeth decides to chop off Teije's head. Nice place...
The London Dungeon The London DungeonThe museum offers a gruesome perspective on the late Middle Ages where the plague and death prevailed and people did anything they could to avoid death. An impossible mission for the poor, but even the rich couldn't escape all the horrors, like the plague. To experience the Middle Ages as a romantic period one had to be rich at least.
The London DungeonWhen we have seen the most horrible things and think we are at the end of the tour, we arrive in a court of justice with a bunch of other naive tourists. Alas, we are being accused of witchcraft and sentenced to death. But the judge is merciful and we don't have to burn, a gunshot it will be. We are executed by a firing squad and there we go in a boat on the river of death, the sewers of London.
The London DungeonWe think this museum is a must for every visitor to London. With a keen eye for details, the museum shows how miserable life must have been for most of the people at that time. The romanticism of castles, knights and ladies was just reserved for a very small group. To the right a few offenses that were punished with the death, offenses a poor devil would quickly commit...
Time has gone by fast and we hurry to the subway to return to Madame Tussaud. But there are less trains going and with great delay for there seem to be some safety problems and it takes almost an hour before we stand in the lines (only 4 lines of 50 metres each this time) at Mdm. Tussaud.
Elisabeth and Madame Tussaud Teije and captain PicardMadame Tussaud turns out to be only a small lady (left), but what she has created is something big and fantastic: often it is impossible to make out whether a person is real or a statue. Teije goes straight to one of his heroes, captain Picard (right), to join him on a picture; a pity he doesn't wear his Startrek uniform.
Elisabeth and Jerry Springer Elisabeth and Jerry SpringerElisabeth with Jerry Springer: no, we won't tell you in what sort of scandal she has run into...
Elisabeth and Sean Connery Teije and William RobinsAnd we met more heroes, like Sean Connery and Robin Williams.
There are more than 400 lifelike wax statues and we have to look carefully at some of the security officers to see if they are real or not. But when they don't blink with their eyes within a full minute we decide they must be statues.
Lady DianaOf course the royal family is also present: from Richard Lionheart and John I to the present family members.
New is the 'Spirit of London', a multimediatrip in a model of a taxi which takes us through 400 years of London history. Another museum that is really worthwhile.
It is dark when we come out and start searching for a place to have dinner. We are quite hungry despite all the horrors we have seen. Walking back to the hotel we find a nice pub near Russell Square and there we make up our finances: £70 pond for visiting 2 museums, that is € 112. Not counting the drinks and the food! London is an expensive place to stay, but when you want to visit something, the expenses mount quickly! But we are happy we have seen these places, and well, otherwise we would have spend the money on something else and not necessarily on better things.

 


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