Sunday, August 31, 2014


Thursday 7 August
After our final breakfast on the ship we were taken to the Lyon Airport to fly to London (British Airways). At Heathrow we were met by our driver who took us to the Novotel Hotel in Lambeth Road, Waterloo.
The view from the hotel window was of the buildings and gardens of Lambeth Palace and the Museum of Garden History. In the distance we could see the Victoria Tower, part of Parliament House.

On our last visit to London we stayed in a hotel on the north side of the Thames River and our explorations were concentrated in that part of the city. This time we had the opportunity to explore the South Bank. The area was crowded and as it was school holidays there were many family based attractions on offer as well as the Aquarium and the London Eye. We wove our way through the throng and along the river bank until we reached Tower Bridge.
As the tide was low there were a number of performers, including this band, busking near the water. They had laid out a rug on the sand where people could throw coins in appreciation.
Another busker was creating sand sculptures by the river.
The river itself was busy with barges and tourist boats going about their business.
Along the South Bank there are many buildings old and new and recreated such as the Globe Theatre.
Wherever you go in central London you can come across reminders of the past with explorations of sites in the city. This archaeological dig was near Southwark Cathedral.
Another reminder of the past is a replica of Sir Francis Drake's ship, the Golden Hinde.
Once we reached Tower Bridge we crossed the river to view the Tower of London Remembers project - a display of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London commemorating lives lost by British soldiers and soldiers from the British Empire during the First World War. Additional information about this project can be found in the post in my Exploring Military History blog. This is an ongoing project until Armistice Day.
We continued back to the hotel along the North Bank of the river.
As river levels were low due to the low tide it was possible to see the remains of structures that had once been part of this river landscape.

We crossed a bridge back to the South Bank and continued, once again, through the throng of families enjoying their day by the river. On the way we purchased a crab roll and a lobster roll from one of the many food stalls along the promenade. We enjoyed the experience of exploring this vibrant part of London.

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