For our first day, mum and her husband wanted to accomplish two goals: see the Peter Pan statue and the Crown Jewels. So first we headed off to the beautiful Kensington Gardens, and spent a few hours tramping across the gardens looking for the statue. We walked around the beautiful park, looked at the vivid flowers by the palace, stopped for some delicious ice cream, and got a little lost. That's when we came across this:
Some more walking and the beginnings of a sunburn later, we found the Peter Pan statue. Curious why this statue is here in Kensington Gardens, we did some googling and found out that Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens is a 1906 novel by J.M. Barrie that tells Peter's origin story.
After lunch - mum's first British pub of the trip - we headed over to the Tower of London. It was quite a different experience to be there as an tourist rather than a member of the congregation. We arrived just in time for a tour led by one of the yeoman warders, who was both extremely knowledgeable and extraordinarily funny. At the end of his talk, he repeated a few of the sillier questions he's been asked before; my favorite was "Are these the original ravens?"
For those who don't know, the Tower of London has been inhabited by a group (an "unkindness") of ravens since William the Conqueror built the place in the eleventh century. According to legend, if the ravens leave the Tower, England will fall. So naturally, England's response is to clip the ravens' wings so they can't leave - making my husband grouse about the bloody-minded logic of empire. Empire aside, I thought they were extremely cute!