Towards the end of Day 2, I was really dead tired after all the walking. The jet lag is beginning to hit me. It’s feeling like I’ve been up the whole night. As tired as I was, I wanted so much to make my way to Covent Garden for Fish and Chips — not just any Fish and Chips but the original one.
The Rock and Sole Plaice was established in 1871 and is possibly London’s Oldest fish and chips shop. This shop does a steady stream of business at its takeaway and restaurant. Although it did not take me long to locate this place, it was not exactly easy to find. It’s on a rather quiet street away from the Covent Gardens Market.
Despite the reputation, I must say service was awful! The blokes were busy watching football and I had to ask for service. Sheez!
I took the seats outside the restaurant — low tables and bench for seats, kind of neat. Especially when my feet is so tired from all the walking, I felt so much like putting my feet up on the chair like a true-blue chinaman.
The menu was simple enough but I couldn’t make out one type of fish from another. So, I guess that I won’t go wrong is I ordered the most expensive one on the menu — must have been the Halibut, I can’t remember. Well, it just so happen that they don’t have the Large one and offered me the regular one. I declined because I wanted something LARGE because I was very hungry. I ordered something else, can’t remember what now.
On every table is the condiments … tartar sauce, ketchup. and malt vinegar. I tried every one of them. I like the tartar sauce particularly.
The large plate was indeed large. I was so glad it was that big. And the fries were thick.
The meat was flaky between the crispy batter. I really enjoyed it and worth going out of the way for this. So, can you tell what fish I ordered? Was it cod?
Enough about food.
I was at the Tower of London before I made my way to this fish and chips shop. I had a great time there. I waited at the entrance to join one of the Beefeater tour guides.
The tower is manned by the Yeoman Warders (known as Beefeaters), who act as tour guides, provide discreet security, and are something of a tourist attraction in their own right. Every evening, the warders participate in the Ceremony of the Keys ,as the Tower is secured for the night.
The Tower of London is a complex of forts built over time. The foundation of the tower were first built over a thousand years ago by William the Conqueror. I can see the remnants of the older walls and newer ones.
The centre of the Tower of London is dominated by the White Tower which is the highest structure in the entire complex. It looks pretty bland from the outside but once I got into it, it was a treasure stove of learnings of how life were in those days.
The building on the far side is the Jewel House. That is where the Crown Jewels were kept. I love to take pictures of the jewels but security was tight and they were very serious about no photography. This must be the most popular display in the Tower of London. The lines were long and we snake our way inside the building watching videos of the biggest diamonds in the world that adorn the crowns.
When we got to the main display room, it was a no-waiting display. Everyone had to get on a moving walkway which will make sure you just get a fair bit of time gwalking (is there such a word?) at the jewels. Fascinating. OK, I am being cynical now … the official story is that the diamonds were the gift to the queen from India — yeah, right.
Here is where the people poop in those days. No flush … just a hole that leads down the wall. That figures — no wonder I have never seen photos or movies of people leaning against castle walls before. Them poop drips down the walls.
Henry VIII in his armour. I can’t help but notice that big blob between his legs. Gotta protect the family jewels right?
I had a difficult time looking for the way up the North Wall. This gave a good view of not only the grounds in the Tower of London but it also overlooks the Thames.
The Tower of London used to be surrounded by a moat about 50 feet wide and filled with water from the Thames. There is no longer any water in that moat.
I decided to take the Routemaster bus to get to Covent Gardens. The Routemasters were iconic to London but few remaining ones are still running along a heritage route. I waited for one that came along with no one at the top deck, front seat! When that one came along, I ran and shoved my way up so that I get that seat!
It was really nothing getting that one seat but I like the idea of being able to say I’ve been there, done that. He he he …
I don’t know why the heck I took this picture.
Hope you enjoyed this blog entry today. Cheers!