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Second day of London trip - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
Second day of London trip
Today was another glorious sunny day. The sun shone, the sky was clear blue and the temperature was above freezing. You really can't hope for better at the end of December. So off we went for another walk around the capital.

Having noticed warnings about Sunday engineering work on the railway and replacement bus services in the Twickenham area, we decided not to carry on where we left yesterday. Instead, we set out to bridge the gap between the stretches we have already walked.

After a breakfast of a bacon bap and cup of tea (or coffee in G's case), we crossed Tower Bridge to the south side of the river and set off eastwards. The Thames Path does manage to stick right by the river for most of the way, though sometimes it sends you on small diversions through housing estates and down high streets. It is a wonderful way to see parts of London that you would never think of visiting otherwise.

So we tramped east through Bermondsey and Rotherhithe and then the river turns south to loop around the Isle of Dogs, so you walk much further than if it ran straight. We passed sites where there were once bustling wharfs and warehouses but which are now covered in houses and flats. We eventually reached Deptford and thence to the Cutty Sark, where we stopped for a sandwich in the museum cafe. Onwards once more, past the Old Royal Naval College and to the unexpected industrial area of North Greewhich where the path traverses a gravel works before reaching the O2 arena.

Here we were intrigued to see a bunch of people on the top of the O2 dome. They then began to descend in a very cautious manner. As no security men rushed over to demand what they were up to, we concluded that this was an official climb and, on checking the interwebs on our return to the hotel, it turned out that this was indeed the case. This is a new attraction, it seems, because they weren't doing it last year.

We had now walked as far as I was capable of going, but there was an interesting way to return to the hotel. As part of the transport arrangements for the Olympics, Boris (Mayor of London) had a cable car built across the river. We had hoped to go on it last winter, but the weather was bad the day we were by the O2 and it was too windy for it to run. But today was perfect. The ride wasn't as scary as I expected and the views were spectacular (photos to follow when I get home and can download them). Then it was onto the DLR (Docklands Light Railway), which took us straight back to Tower Hill and the hotel.

All in all, it was a really good day. Tomorrow we have to head for home, but at least we have another week of holiday before we actually start back at work.

[Cross-posted from Dreamwidth http://heleninwales.dreamwidth.org/120484.html. If you want to leave a comment, please use whichever site you find most convenient. Comments so far: comment count unavailable.]


4 comments or Leave a comment
kaishin108 From: kaishin108 Date: December 30th, 2013 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)
That sounds absolutely brillant :-)
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: January 1st, 2014 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
We were amazingly luck with the weather; two glorious sunny days in the middle of a mild but very wet winter. I'm busy sorting out photos now.
khiemtran From: khiemtran Date: December 30th, 2013 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like a great day. Is the Cutty Sark open again?
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: January 1st, 2014 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, at least it seemed to be open again after the terrible fire. We didn't go round it because we have both been on board years ago and these things tend to be very expensive.

However, I wouldn't mind going back another time (probably on my own) to explore the museum and old naval college in detail.
4 comments or Leave a comment