Frequently ranked among the best places to live in the United States, Raleigh is the state capital of North Carolina.  As of January 1, 2009, Raleigh had an estimated population of 385,507. That number is projected to reach 541,895 by 2025. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the nation.  Much of the city’s recent growth has occured in its northern reaches. Known as the City of Oaks, Raleigh is home to 115 city parks and 8,499 acres of parks and greenways.

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On a recent trip to London I stopped by the Tower of London. The Bloody Tower, as it was called was chock full of historical information. I'm a history fan too. Below are some pictures of our trip. What I found most interesting are the following obvservations:

1) Bloody Tower - the Bloody Tower, as the Tower of London is called, actually only had a few be-headings (less than a half dozen). The majority of be-headings (about 200, so we were told by our Guide, Ingrid - who was FANTASTIC!) occurred out on a small square over-looking the Tower.

2) It was considered an honor to have your head cut off at the Tower. Only the truely noteables were worthy of the "Tower treatment".

3) Sir Walter Raleigh was jailed at the Bloody Tower. The pictures below show you his quarters. Although the "jail" was small, I'm sure by the standards of the times it was quite nice. Raleigh was allowed to leave his jail and attend parties on the premises (just down the way there were other fine people jailed and sequestered in their own quarters. It's a great trip, and you'll enjoy the history.

Out of all the places we've been London is by far the best. Raleigh rocks, and I thought a little history regarding Sir Walter Raleigh might be of interest to other Raleigh-ites. BIKE - On ! More information can be found at WWW.EVERYTHINGRALEIGH.COM

Sir Walter Raleigh - all of these pix were taken at the Bloody Tower. London is great, and the residents don't rip you off like they do in other countries that will remain nameless.

Sir Walter's quarters. As you can see, he's got a desk, writing materials, maps, etc....not bad given he's in "prison". He was allowed to go on trips to America to bring back booty for the King. Nice work Walty!

Sorry you have to turn your computer sideways for this one, but it's worth it. Fascinating information on Sir Walter Raleigh.

As long as we're reading sideways, here's a pic of Sir Walter Raleigh with his son (discussed in the previous slide). All these pix were taken at the bloody tower. London is a great place to take your kids!

I took pix of everything. The Bloody Tower has these books on display, and so I thought I could put you in the tower by letting you read about Sir Walter Raleigh - in his own Prison!

I forgot to mention that Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned on the 2nd floor of the tower. This is the circular stairwell that takes you to his abode. I had a tough time fitting through this opening. My Mom is British (and American!) and is only 5 foot 4 inches tall. And I think that was typical of the times.

Here's a shot of what else you can do while you are there. The Queen's Jewels, which are not allowed to travel outside the country, can be viewed here. They wouldn't let me take pix of these and they make the French look like they missed out on the conquests of the 1600 and 1700s. I mean this was really extraordinary and well worth the show. The Louvre only had 2 crowns as the French pillaged their King's luxury items when they beheaded Louis the the way, the Orsey is way better than the Louvre. Truly remarkable - and no pix allowed at the Orsey. Pix allowed in the Louvre, which surprised me.

Ok, last picture - of me with the family. Nearly 20 happy years! I hope you added to your knowledge base of Raleigh.