Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

From Tower Bridge to Oxo Tower

Well, where did that week go?  Following on from last week's post to the Tower of London's installation we are now walking over Tower Bridge for a colourful tour full of such variety on the South Bank.  As usual I had to look up to get a slightly different view of this iconic bridge.
Our walk was long, with plenty of stops along the way, just drinking in the diverse culture of this City.  It's amazing that with living and working in this fantastic part of the country when I was younger, I just didn't see it at the time, but now that I live in a very, very quiet corner of the Lincolnshire countryside, I can't wait to get back to get my London fix, and try to fit in as much as I can in one day.

So my dear readers, here we go again!  I couldn't put everything down in this blog post, it would be far too long, so I have added an album to my Facebook page, please pop along if you would like to see more (I'd love it if you would 'like' too).  Right, cup of tea in hand, slippers on and a Garibaldi?... here we go...
On the other side of the Thames looking back across to the grey stone of the Tower of London, it seems dwarfed by the Guerkin, Walkie Talkie and Cheesegrater, however the old and new are now all icons together.  The more modern buildings are yet to prove themselves with the test of time though.
 I must say, we did stay here just looking over for quite some time.  It was busy but we felt incredibly comfortable with our own thoughts and dreams.  However, lots to still pack in!  Our plan was to just walk along the River's edge and stop at different points along the way, just taking our time.  The permanent museum on board HMS Belfast, something I have never done but the company with me today were more arty and not the military type.
Over the River, the golden top to the Monument poked its head out in between the other buildings.  Apparently if it fell the top is meant to be able to reach where the Great Fire of London started in Pudding Lane.  Have you ever climbed to the top?  Myself and Miss Teen have and it put me in mind of our St Paul's trip a couple of weeks ago.  Painful!  But, you do get a certificate at the end of it, and the views are well worth it along with a much better platform to view from as you can see...
A little way along, we came to Hay's Galleria.  The sign states that in the mid 1850's, following the steady rise of the River Thames as the commercial lifeline of the City of London, Sir William Cubitt was commissioned to build a new wharf around and enclosed dock.  Ships from all over the world visited the new Hay's Wharf but the most beautiful were the tea clippers from India and China.  By the end of the century, over 80% of perishable foodstuffs passed through the area which became known as the "Larder of London".  Hay's Wharf has now been restored and it stands where the tall tea clippers edged their way into the dock 150 years ago.  I wonder if the Cutty Sark was one of the tea clippers?
While Miss Teen and her friend succumbed to the shops inside the Galleria, I was intrigued by the beautiful piece of engineering in the middle of this area.
With some retail therapy suitably ticked off the list, we carried on our walk until we came to London Bridge. The bridge itself isn't very exciting but its predecessors show the barbarity and ways of living that used to be.  The Wikipedia link is here and well worth looking at.  Nearby is the forgotten Cathedral, Southwark, again steeped in history.
But we were looking for some vibrancy (no Cathedral climbing for me today!!), and just around the corner here it was, the start of all things arty and exciting... Borough Market.
Now I admit, as a Londoner and spending so much of my early life going out with friends around the area, I never, ever knew of this place!  The smells of the different foods, both being sold to invent new recipes and also those cooking absolutely delicious fayre was mind blowing!  If you get a chance and haven't been before, it is on my 'must do's'.  Even a little bit of entertainment while you enjoy this wonderful atmosphere!
We will be back!  

Walking a little further you come to this very old, narrow street.  It made me think of the closeness of buildings back during the Great Fire of London and how easy it was for the flames to lick the buildings opposite.
The lovely building near the centre left of the shot is actually quite important.  This is 'The Clink', the notorious medieval prison.  So barbaric that they still have one of their old 'guests' hanging around outside...
It is now a museum and one that we will re-visit at some stage, but our walk was only part way through.

Another look across the Thames, and this time we are back to the Millennium Bridge and St Paul's (my legs still hurt after that climb a couple of weeks ago!).  But look!  Could this be any more perfect?  A blue sky, St Paul's, The Thames and a narrow boat!!  How my heart skipped when I saw this boat and wished that I was on board.
By now our feet were a little tired and the girls were asking to go down to the sandy beach which was beckoning to us.  After all, it's not every day you can say you have paddled in the Thames!
Looking across London while dipping your toes was a little strange to say the least, but so beautifully cool (and entertaining to those who were looking over the side just wishing they were doing the same!).
One thing to watch for are waves created from the pleasure boats going up and down the River.  These models found out the hard way during their shoot (those waves were the little warnings!).
By now we were at the OXO Tower, yes they used to use it as a cold store many many years ago.  It is now a mixture of shops, flats and a restaurant.
We all discussed that this would be a great place to live (in another life maybe).
The views would be, well, just perfect.
And so dear Readers, I will leave it at that for now.  We were now looking towards Westminster, which means we were on the exciting part of the South Bank with huge amounts of colourful characters and constant fun.  Next week's post dear friends, next week!
Thank you so much for your visits and comments last week on the installation.  I am gradually getting around to acknowledging you all but with GCSE results coming through for Mr Teen (he passed them all!!) and then the enrolment at College, my life has been a little stressful to say the least.  Like I said at the beginning of this post, 'where has the week gone?!'.

I have noticed however that quite a few of you have gone back to 'no reply' bloggers.  This maybe the Google+ thing again of reverting you without telling you, but just to let you know that I have added a contact form in my side bar in case you wanted to get in touch that way.

Have a wonderful weekend and week.

Take care.

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  1. Hello Chel! It's always such a pleasure visiting your blog and seeing your lovely pictures. I always feel like I am right there experiencing everything :)

    Congratulations to Mr. Teen - what a blessing! :) Hugs to you!

  2. Oh my Chel...each adventure is better than the last! I am in awe of the gorgeous architecture. I just love the OXO building! Such fun for you, your daughter, and her friend! Congratulations to your son on passing all his tests. You must be so proud! Have a blessed weekend.

    Hugs, Vicky

  3. Our last name is Hays so maybe we should visit that galleria. :) This is such a fascinating post, thanks for sharing your visit.

  4. Wow! When I get to visit London, would you come down for a day or two and walk with me? I absolutely loved this tour.
    Google+ is not something I like at all. I have good reasons for not signing on, but feel bad when I am unable to comment on a blog that only allows comments from the 'connected'.

  5. I always enjoy your reading and looking at your pictures. Thank you for sharing the pictures..loveeeeeeeee them all.Blessings

  6. More lovely shots of London. Those first two are gorgeous! Have a great Sunday.

  7. So that's why it;s called OXO - I thought it was because it was just a boring cube shaped building!

  8. Beautiful shots of London with a little history and sightseeing thrown in. Love these glimpses of life from a blogger's point of view. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hi Chel, wow what beautiful shots of Londom! I love the 1st two shots and they would look amazing blown up big. Thanks so much fior sharing your day with us. I would love living in London! Congrats to your son and good luck to him. Have a wonderful week.

  10. I love your blog don't ever change it. hopefully you will see your reviews and your notes and all will be well.

  11. Well done to Mr Teen on his exam results!!! I hope that he enjoys college. You must all be so very happy and proud. The skyline of London really has changed a lot in recent years hasn't it and become far more distinctive than it use to in terms of large buildings, but it is nice to see the traditional landmarks as well isn't it! I'm still a replyable blogger - I hope! xx

  12. Paddling in the Thames! Whatever will you do next? What a wonderful post, I want to go to London this SECOND! xx

  13. Congratulations to Mr. Teen for acing his exams! Hard to see them grow up so fast, isn't it? But thrilling, too, to see them succeed and thrive. Your photos are wonderful - I felt I was right there, looking up, looking at the skyline, dipping my toes in the Thames. I must say, that model has on a very strange looking skirt! Lol! So nice to go exploring with the girls and re-experience your old stomping grounds. I just watched a television show on the Tower of London. Spooky place - that, but beautiful none-the-less. Hope you get a second to catch your breath this week. xo Karen

  14. I'm dying to see the Tower Bridge. 'tis such an impressive structure. Someday... :)
    Thank you taking me through the streets of London. The Clink looks like an interesting place. And that prisoner...that's for real?
    I'm definitely coming by again. :)
    Have a great week, Chel.

  15. Great set of pictures - since the trip you read about I know where some of them are!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  16. Great tour as always Chel. So many things I would want to explore if I was there. I must keep working out to get my legs for climbing in tip top shape.

  17. This was just fabulous Chel. One of the wonderful things about having overseas blog friends is enjoying armchair travel! seeing things 'hot off the press' so to speak that one would never otherwise get to see.
    I look forward to immersing myself in many of your previous posts and following happily along from now on.

  18. I love the way you have approached these familiar sights giving a different insight.

  19. The London scenery has changed since I have been there, back in 1985. I like some of the new & old buildings together. Even though they may look a little strange.. Awesome tour, thanks for sharing.

  20. Magnificent and creative shots and what an adventure for OWT ~

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  21. What wonderful shots. London is great!

  22. I was in London once about 15 years ago on a school trip and I loved it. I so want to go again. Thank you for the amazing pictures and the inspiration what places to visit the next time I get to go. I hope soon since I'd love to show Keith all the wonderful cities in Europe :)

  23. Oh I love walking these streets with you...it makes me feel as though I am right there! The history and the architecture all around is fascinating to me! Such beautiful photos friend! Wishing you a lovely week! Nicole xoxo

  24. I enjoyed the virtual tour, the sights that are both old and new paints a landscape that is evolving. The engineering piece you made reference to looks like a modern chariot.

  25. Wow, what a wonderful post, thank you so much.
    So many sights old and new, appreciated greatly by this stateside Brit.
    Looking forward to your next post and congrats to your son, well done indeed.
    Pam in TX.xx

  26. Really appreciate your style of photography and am pleased to have found your blog. Re. Stuck Foot Posts - yes, do join in. That would be great. It's very informal. I'm leaving the link box open until the first of September. http://looseandleafy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/box-for-stuck-foot-posts.html so there's plenty of time. It's a new venture. Several people have expressed interest. There are only three links apart from mine at present but they are really good. I don't know if you have taken a look at them. There will be four link boxes for Stuck Foots over the year. (Likewise four for urban plants.) You can drift in and out if you like!

  27. Oh thank you for that wonderful tour of London, I was there in 1989 and I am sure many things have changed, but not the iconic buildings. Beautiful images!!

  28. Absolutely marvelous! I loved every picture! :-)

  29. Oh, and let's not forget the commentary! I enjoyed that, too! :-)

  30. I love traveling around London with you, Chel! I especially love your shot of Tower Bridge, but every photo is fabulous!


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