Thursday, 30 October 2014

Blogtoberfest 2014 Day 30: 888,246 Poppies

I'm beginning to think I may be a bit stupid!

{waits for sniggering to stop ...}

.... yesterday I went to London, but for some unknown reason it hadn't occurred to me that London during the half term school holiday would be busy, or that the area around the Tower of London would be especially busy with people eager to see the last few days of the poppy installation.
It was jam packed with sightseers! The crowds were so bad that it took me nearly an hour to get from Tower Hill underground station to the front of the Tower of London by the railings where it was possible to see the poppies, normally about ten minutes walk. It was also raining, so there was the added problem of avoiding the ones with umbrellas who seemed intent on taking people's eyes out!
But then I managed to get to the front and saw the poppies .... and the crowds and the wait and the rain didn't matter.  They were amazing.  It wasn't really the day for photographs - wet and misty (the top of The Shard is obscured by mist in the first one) and no chance of choosing a good position, but I took some anyway.  I'd taken the longer lens with me to get some closer shots but it wasn't safe to change it (being continuously jostled, I was worried I'd drop one or other of the lenses) so these were taken with the standard lens.

Words really can't describe the sight of all the poppies and actually seeing them all spread out below me did make me a bit tearful.  I was feeling emotional anyway, being in London without Ced: London was 'our place' so it was strange to be at the Tower, one of our favourite places, without him.  I'm so glad I went to see them.
As for the rest of the day ... getting back to the underground was another challenge.  It had cleared a little so didn't take quite as long, only to find that they'd closed the station due to overcrowding!  I followed directions to the next station to find that closed as well due to ... you've guessed it - overcrowding. So what to do?  I could have waited for them to re-open the stations but I had no idea how long that would take and I was wet and getting cold so I started to walk back towards the Embankment.
I was also looking for photos of 'patriotism' so was hoping to see some flags or something, but no luck.  But what I did see was a bus stop for one of the tour buses so I treated myself to a ticket and settled down for the commentary as we drove around London.  The ticket entitled me to two different bus tours and a river tour but I didn't have time to do the river one this time.  Anyway, that's how I spent the rest of my day, seeing all the sights of London through rain splashed windows.  I had food and drink with me, the commentary was interesting and sitting in the warmth of the tour bus I soon dried out and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  An added bonus was that one of the bus routes passed the coach station so I stayed on that bus for a second trip until it got to the coach station, so avoided having to use the underground.
The coach journey home was a bit fraught.  We left on time but were delayed for 25 minutes by an accident on the motorway, then an additional 10 minutes by another delay a bit further on, and finally another 20 minutes due to a detour because one of the main roads just outside of Devizes was closed for repairs.  All of which meant that I didn't get home till gone 11, tired but happy with how the day turned out and glad I went!


  1. Olá Eillen, as papoulas ficaram lindas nesse conjunto vermelho admirável!
    Eu teria ficado também bastante nervosa, pois grandes multidões me assustam!

  2. I wish I'd gone to see the poppies but I have bought one in memory of my great grandfather.

  3. the poppies are all sold now. This is amazing for the six military charities that the proceeds will support. My Granddaughter went with her Mum and Dad and she was fascinated. They are "doing" WW1 in school