Playing the Tourist

Well, its time for a rest. I’ve had a busy but enjoyable weekend.

  • I  came across the mystery of the evaporating vodka
  • I’ve hosted a house full for the weekend
  • I’ve played the tour guide to northern yokels

So where shall I start? The beginning? Ok, will do.

1 In the beginning, when God created the universe, 2 the earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the Spirit of God was moving over the water. 3 Then God commanded, “Let there be light” – and light appeared. 4 God was pleased with what he saw. Then he separated the light from the darkness, 5 and he named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” Evening passed and morning came – that was the first day.

What’s that? That’s not what you meant? Ok, time to be serious

This weekend Michelle came down for the weekend with Josh and her parents. We had invited her parents down to London for the weekend as part of their Christmas present. It had taken until now to find a convenient weekend. I’m glad it was this weekend, as the weather has been fantastic. Its been great to get out around London.

I met them all at Kings Cross Station on Friday night and drove everyone back to my house. It was funny to see young Josh telling his parents what is about and the history of parts of London as we drove home. My indoctrination of Josh has obviously paid off.

It was around 22:30 by  the time we got to my home, so we only had one bottle of wine, ok then 2 bottles of wine between us before bed!

Saturday brought a rather shocking development- yes, we were all up, had eaten showered etc. and were out of the house by just after 09:00! Why so early? Well, we had decided to go up into Central London and take a boat trip to Greenwich and have lunch there. This turned out to be a great idea.

We were going to take the boat from Westminster Pier, so we took advantage of the location and went to Downing Street and showed off the sites of the seat of government, including Downing Street, Parliament, Various government departments. We also saw Westminster Abbey soon to host some wedding or something.

We then went to Westminster pier to get the boat. A little tip for you – if you have a London Transport Day Travel card, you get 1/3 off all the fares on the river. The trip to Greenwich was to take 75 minutes and to go via The London Eye and Tower Bridge.

We were lucky to get good seats on a busy boat- sat outside in the sun at the front of the boat.

SAM_0434SAM_0435

Looking From Westminster pier to London Eye and vice versa – short distance for our first stop (Some building or other in the background in picture 2 – note the clock is not Big Ben!)

The boat trips on the river are fascinating chances to see lots of London’s history and architecture. The ship’s captain provides a commentary on some of the  significant buildings and bridges we pass. I can really recommend a boat trip.

SAM_0441

The picture above shows London through the recent past present and future. In the middle is the OXO Tower.

The building was originally constructed as a power station for the Post Office, built towards the end of the 19th century. The building was largely rebuilt to an Art Deco design between 1928 and 1929.

The building on the left is SEA CONTAINERS HOUSE

Sea Containers House was originally designed as a hotel building, but the recession and stagflation of the mid to late 1970s put paid to this during the development of the project, and saw the British government act as the anchor tenant instead.

The building immediately to the right of the Oxo tower is the currently under construction SHARD OF GLASS.

Shard London Bridge, previously known as London Bridge Tower and also known as the Shard of Glass,[4][5] 32 London Bridge and The Shard, is a skyscraper under construction in Southwark, London. When completed in 2012, it will be the tallest building in the European Union and the 45th tallest building in the world. It is the second tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom after the 1,084 ft. (330.4m) Emley Moor transmitting station

Then we passed by the South Bank Riviera –that is the sandy beach on the South Bank of the Thames in Central London. Yes, you heard me correctly and the photo below is proof of this.

SAM_0444

It has been said that in the past on a sunny day, up to 50,000 used the beaches on the South Bank in London. Today, it seems to be slightly less busy.

Next up, near Southwark Bridge was the reconstruction of The Globe Theatre. This hosts a whole range of plays, not just Shakespeare’s works.

SAM_0445

As we get near Tower Bridge, there is suddenly lots to see, including HMS Belfast, the new Greater London Assembly offices, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London and in particular Traitor’s Gate.

SAM_0448SAM_0449SAM_0450SAM_0456

SAM_0454

The Tower of London

The Gherkin (aka 1 St Mary’s Axe)SAM_0457

Canary Wharf (aka 1 Canada Square & its neighbours on the Isle of Dogs SAM_0465

Then it was onto Greenwich. This is a beautiful place to visit. It has lots of good pubs and eating places as well as a fine market. The market has loads of international takeaway food places. We had food from there for lunch. The only problem was deciding which type of cuisine to choose from. There are so many, including, Turkish, Nigerian, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese. I have forgotten many other cuisines. We ate lunch in the  very stunning Grounds of the Old Naval College before walking to the National Maritime Museum. We only had a brief look round the museum, but I will come back to have a proper look round it when I get the chance.

We returned home via the Docklands Light Railway and the miracle of driverless trains. Very unsettling when you first see them.

Once home, it was time for a quiet night in. I had prepared tea for us. Thus disproving the myth that I can’t cook and live on takeaways here. Everyone appeared in good health today, so my cooking did not poison them.

Alcohol wise, we only drank 2 bottles of wine between four of us, and a dozen bottles of Stella. We all had one small glass of vodka, and after the oldies had gone to bed, Michelle and i had another small vodka, ok then two. That vodka must have evaporated in the heat of the night, as when I came down this morning the whole bottle was empty. This was a full bottle last night. Evaporation is the only way I can see that the vodka had all disappeared. Those who know Michelle and i know we are almost tea total and rarely touch a drop.

Details of Sunday & the life of a chav to follow. [No, I am not calling Michelle a chav.]

Advertisements

About spen666

I'm a 40 something football fan and cyclist. I've been a football fanatic most of my life and have completed the 92 football league & premier league grounds Added to this numerous non league grounds, a number abroad and you start to get the picture. I took up cycling in around 2000. Although my father was a former World Vets Champion, I got into cycling accompanying my son to ride in London. This was followed by my commuting to work each day into Central London. Then doing some Sunday rides, then some audax events (www.audax.uk.net) and then a week's cycling holiday in France with a friend. From there, I got more and more into cycling and in 2009 completed LEJoG and in 2010 rode in the USA with the Police Unity Tour. I completed blogs for those events at www.aminearlythere.blogspot.com and www.bothesidesofthepond.blogspot.com Feel free to read them and learn more about me. I live alone which suits me as it gives me time at weekends to pursue my interests of cycling and football. (Well what did you expect me to say? That I'm sad at being single?) I'm currently looking for my next challenge. Any suggestions gratefully received.
This entry was posted in My Life. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s