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.
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