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London break -- Day 2 - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
heleninwales
heleninwales
London break -- Day 2
This was the first full day of exploring and we decided to do the Thames Path again and walk along to the Thames Barrier, where we knew there was a cafe. We got the Tube to the station by the O2 arena and then found our way to the Thames Path. As its name suggests, this runs along by the river and gives excellent views of the buildings on the other side and takes you through the less visited parts of London. I will post more pictures once I get home and can sort them out properly, but this is the view looking across the river at the offices on Canary Wharf. As you can see, the weather is rather grey and gloomy, but it is mild so I won't have to worry about having to dig the car out of a snow drift when we get back, which was what happened last year!

There is an awful lot of building work going on at the moment. I hope they get it all finished before the Olympics. Actually, perhaps that's why there is so much frantic activity?

Anyway we wandered along at far as the Thames Barrier, part of which was raised for some reason. Here was out first disappointment. Despite having a sign on the door indicating that it ought to be open, the cafe and exhibition centre was closed. We therefore contined onwards to Woolwich Ferry, where we observed the Earnest Bevin transporting a goodly collection of cars and lorries across to the other side. However, a sign to the Foot Tunnel caught our eye. We have previously walked through the Greenwhich foot tunnel, but even G (who is rather fond of tunnels) hadn't heard of this one. The entrance proved somewhat elusive, but during the search, we did find some public toilets, which was good! Eventually, after speaking with a young man who was also searching for it because he had heard on the news that it reopened today after refurbishment, with the guidance of a couple of people who seemed to belong to the ferry terminal, we found the entrance lurking behind a lot of boards.

Unfortunately, the LiveJournal Scrapbook is not working for me tonight and the new Flickr doesn't like my browser, so I can't embed the photo and therefore can only provide a link to the picture of the tunnel.

Unfortunately, we now found ourselves in a rather unprepossessing area with no way of walking back along the river on the north side. After briefly contemplating going back across the river on the ferry (LOL!), we decided to take the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) back into the central touristy part of the city. As this took us through a totally new area (to us) past the City of London Airport, it was quite interesting and gave me a chance to rest my feet.

From here we wandered about a bit, crossed the river intending to visit HMS Belfast (only to find it closed), crossed back over Tower Bridge before eventually getting the Tube back to Euston and after having something to eat, we retired to our accommodation.

And now my feet are tired. :(

[Cross-posted from Dreamwidth by way of a backup http://heleninwales.dreamwidth.org/22307.html. If you want to leave a comment, please use whichever site you find most convenient. Comments so far: comment count unavailable.]

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khiemtran From: khiemtran Date: December 22nd, 2011 08:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like a great day! Are you planning to do anything when the Olympics come?

The Sydney 2000 games were quite fun. For months (and years) before it, everyone was moaning about how much of an inconvenience it would be or what a waste of money and how they all planned to leave town to avoid the chaos. But then when it actually happened, there was a real change and a kind of relaxed, holiday mood spread across the city. There was a real change in vibe when suddenly everyone was talking to strangers or singing together on trains. Then, two weeks later, everyone was back to being big city sullen again.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: December 22nd, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are you planning to do anything when the Olympics come?

Only to stay as far away from London as possible! London is normally horrendously busy in the summer when it's crammed with tourists. That's one of the reasons why we like the winter breaks; there are tourists around, but not so many. So I have no idea what it will be like with all the visitors coming to the Olympics. Security will probably be a nightmare too.

Of course I could be wrong and it could end up with a relaxed holiday spirit, like you experienced in Sydney, but somehow I doubt it.:(
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