Wednesday, 10 September 2008

We become London tourists

I've recently taken my annual holiday and having to watch the pennies decided that we would spend it at home and take the odd day out. Although i only live just outside London i had never been to Tower Bridge or the Tower of London. So, we caught the train into Waterloo station and decided to walk to Tower Bridge. We went to the London Eye (heaving with people, organised chaos!) and walked over Westminster bridge to The Embankment. When you go on foot you see so many interesting and different things. Off the embankment just after the tube station we stumbled across a small park. We went in and were amazed to find a lovely secluded area with a bandstand, statues, trees and lawns. Very restful and well used by the locals. Further along we bought some fruit to eat on our journey from a stall. Very nice and tasty!

We continued along the Embankment taking in the lovely Thames views and the "Eye" on the opposite bank. We walked as far as the Millenium bridge and wandered across to the south bank and the Tate Modern. I was really impressed with the Millenium bridge. What a structure and again superb views looking up to St. Paul's cathedral, (which i have promised myself to see on another visit). We spent about an hour looking around Tate Modern. Not really enough time but it gave us a good taster for another visit. We left the Tate and continued on the south bank surprised to find plenty of newish restaurants and shops that we didn't know existed. There were lots of people there, a nice mix of Londoners and tourists. Very vibrant and buzzing. We stopped and got a snack and a drink here before continuing on with our walk. We just sat for an hour and people watched as they passed our table. I expect that this area is very popular in the evenings for people looking for a good night out.

When we had finished we wandered along the river past converted warehouses, the new London council offices (wow!) and even an open air theatre until all of a sudden we were at Tower Bridge. It lived up to my expectations. What a lovely sight it was. We climbed the stairs and walked slowly over the bridge. There was a Tower Bridge exhibition which was in the upper part of the bridge. I would have loved to have gone up but time was pressing as we had to be home by the early evening.

Over the bridge we went to be opposite the Tower of London. We couldn't see much of course because of the high walls. The place was teeming with tourists of all nationalities queuing to get in. One day i'll take a tour of the Tower when it's less busy.

We were getting tired by now.and didn't fancy the long walk back to Waterloo so on a whim we bought tickets for the "Clipper" which stopped at a wharf just along from the Tower. The trip back to the London Eye on the Thames was an unexpected delight and capped off a wonderful day. The Clipper experience has given us a novel new and easy way to travel when we go to London. We now plan to become "tourists" again as soon as possible and explore the City of London area. I'll let you know how we get on so watch this space.

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