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Travels in Europe, Autumn 2016: “It’s a Toilet,” He Exclaimed!

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The Beefeater was a robust guy with a booming voice. “It’s not a restroom–you don’t go there to take a nap. It’s not a bathroom–you don’t go there to take a bath.” Scanning the tourists to the Tower of London, he bellowed, “You know out there to whom I am speaking. ‘It’s a toilet!’ Don’t mess with the English language!” With that introduction, we walked through 900 years of English history as we saw the Traitors’ Gate and the Bloody Tower and the graves of important figures of history and the Crown Jewels of England and many other sites in this fascinating building complex of English royalty and intrigue.

It was a great day in London. The weather was clear, and the temperature was nearly perfect. We walked along the River Thames; walked across both the London and Tower Bridges; lolly-gagged in the Borough Market–with its dizzying array of food products–and people-watched in Picadilly Circus–reminiscent of Times Square in New York City. Fleet Street, the old publishing center and the financial district of The City of London, were interesting. We absorbed much today.

Friends of Allen Krahn–ask him if he knows how the term “hang over” came about? Spoiler alert–the answer follows. On hanging days in the village green across from Hyde Park, multitudes, indeed, whole families would gather for the spectacle. Alcohol was consumed by some in excess, and they would end up sleeping in Hyde Park. So the drunk folks watched the hanging and stayed over, hence, they “hang over.” Such is the educational stuff of traveling. WEG


2 Comments

  1. Roger Tornga says:

    That means that if you’ve not been to a hanging, you’ve not ever had a hangover. I like that.

  2. Nancy mccollum says:

    You’re making me want to go back–we enjoyed London so much but I think we needed more than 3 days to do it all. Fortunately there were no hangovers!

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