Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Tower of London – Suits of Armor, Armored Horses, Cannons, Swords, and Torture Devices

The Tower of London was one of the highlights of our brief visit to London. I love looking at the old suits of armor and all the weird weapons they came up with in those days, and cannons, rifles, pistols, mortars, and even torture devices… must be the inventor in me.

On the first day in London we arrived at the hotel around 9:00 in the morning, and pretty much just walked around looking at the architecture and the local sights most of the day. We had to visit Harrods departments store to purchase something from Harrods for a grand child.

For me, the Tower of London was the most important sight to see in London. We decided to make our visit the first thing the next day. We had coffee first thing in the morning at an outdoor cafe and then walked over to the bus stop to catch the first bus to the Tower.

It turned out to be a great time to visit; we were almost the first people to arrive with hardly anyone else there.

To see the crown jewels, there is a moving walkway that you stand on and it takes you around the crown jewel display. At the crown jewels area they don't however, let you take any photos even without a flash.

The Tower of London -great riverside fortress is usually remembered as a place of imprisonment. Originally a moated fort build for William the Conqueror around 1080

A picture of the moat around the Tower of London, drained in the early 1900's.

One of many narrow staircases found throughout the Tower.

A Royal Throne

Photo is a little out of focus... but still... that poor horse.

Photo of a real jousting lance.  Jousting must have been so much fun!

Suits of Armor were everywhere

Japanese Suit of Armor

The Kings Amour

 Canons...notice the hexagon shaped barrel.

Long Rifes and Swords

They even a suits of armour for young children apparently

Not shortage of muskets in the tower!

Many many rifles.

Off With His Head!  Ye Old Chopping Block!

Lances and Spears of various types. Weapons of War!

Torture Devices.

Canons and Mortars

The End!

Sapphire Princess Orient Cruise – Ground Zero & the Atomic Bomb in Nagasaki

A visit to Ground Zero where the Atomic Bomb, Fat Man, was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki,[5] with roughly half of the occurring on the first day.

Growing up in the 1950s and 60s, I certainly never thought I would visit ground zero where one of the atomic bombs was dropped in World War II. But there we were, at ground zero in Nagasaki. What an incredible experience!

Peace Memorial Park

The Peace Memorial Park was our first stop on our shore excursion tour. The park is lined with statues donated by various sister-cities of Nagasaki and many countries around the world.

The Peace Statue in Peace Memorial Park, Nagasaki, Japan

This is the beautiful Peace Statue, completed in 1955. The statue's right hand points to the sky to signify where the bomb came from while the left hand is outstretched in a gesture of peace. The right leg is bent under and the eyes are closed to symbolize tranquility and meditation while the statues left leg is planted ready for action to assist humanity. Peace Memorial park is lined with statues donated by various sister-cities of Nagasaki all ove the world.

Here are photos of some of the statues in the park:

One of the statues in the park

Another of the multitude of statues from the world over

Atomic Bomb Museum

Cameras were not allowed at the Atomic Bomb Museum.

The emphasis is on the suffering of mothers and children, but since the men were mostly off fighting the war, this is not surprising. The museum makes much of the fact that many scientists and politicians advised the US not to drop the bomb but there was no mention that Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor.

Hypocenter - ground zero

Ground Zero for the Fat Man Atomic Bomb Dropped on Nagasaki in World War II

Me, standing right in front of ground zero or the hypocenter of the Atomic Bomb dropped on Nagasaki

This is all that was left of the Urakami Prison near ground zero