Saturday, 13 June 2015

A day out ......... Part 3 continued

This is Part 3 in a very busy week I have had and this post is about the day out that I had arranged for the 50+ Adventure Club and which started very early last Sunday morning, when we were picked up by a coach and headed for London. 
I think we knew where we were!!
Last summer we climbed over the Dome but this year it was called the London Experience as we were dropped off on London Bridge.   No photos here as it was very dark and no photography inside.  The story of London Bridge was told from Roman times to the present and it was scary!!  Next we were herded into a dungeon, eventually being let out and formed up in a line.  For some reason I was leading with someone's hands on my shoulder and off we went in very little light and all sorts of scary things coming at me in the dark.  I did shriek once or twice and was quite glad eventually get out into daylight but it was very good and I would recommend it to anyone BUT not for children under 11. Then to Hays Wharf for lunch where we saw this very interesting ship that reminds me of something but I cannot think what - maybe Captain Nemo's submarine?

I took the photo below on our way to the next 'experience'......

The three new buildings in the middle are (left to right) the WalkieTalkie, the Cheese Grater and of course the GherkinAt the front behind the trees and completely dwarfed by these three buildings is the Custom HouseNext door is the old Billingsgate Market.  The Walkie-Talkie has a sloping side and when first built it was setting cars on fire because it was reflecting the suns rays!!! 

Our next 'experience' was this iconic structure which I think needs very little introduction:-
... of course, Tower Bridge, the most famous bridge in the World!!
The walkways between the two towers is open to the public and now has a glass floor!!  Lots of photos to follow:-
South bank - the Armadillo and the Shard

Behind the trees on the left is the Tower of London

Looking down on the traffic and pedestrians

Looking downriver to Canary Wharf

.. and using a very long lens - Royal Observatory, Greenwich
However the highlight of the trip was this .....
The bridge lifting (dots are in the glass floor)

A Thames sailing barge going through

Bridge closing
In order to get these three photos for you I waited on the centre spot and elbowed anyone out of the way who thought they would have centre spot!!!!  The bridge lift times are on the Tower Bridge website and there is usually one or two every day.  Note the four black holes in each edge of the bridge - explanation to follow further down.

After this excitement (and I was excited!) we went down to the engine room where the Victorian engines are beautifully maintained, but no longer used.  Tower Bridge is now computerised and all electric.
The engines still go round
If you look carefully at the photo above you can see the original little oil containers with beautiful brass tops.

This photo is one of original metal pins that slot into the bridge when it closes.  You can see the black holes on the edge in an earlier photo.  Nowadays they are square pins in square holes!!

Finally we walked to the Tower of London to catch our coach and so home through a very traffic jammed London.
The Tower of London
We had a brilliant day and each time I go I love London despite the traffic, the people and on this day, the heat.  So much to do, so much to see and you are never short of somewhere to eat.

PS I am trying an experiment - go to my Facebook page and see the video.  Let me know if it does/doesn't work


  1. Oh Carol what a great day out. You were super lucky to see the bridge rise and the link to the video does work so it was worth the pushing to the front 😊.

  2. I grew up in London but haven't been back in 21 years! Your photos remind me that I must show my children the sights, thanks for a great post x

  3. Hi Carol,
    What a very interesting day out you had! Jo has already informed you that your video works fine.

    It reminds me of a trip we took last year when we went on an old sailing barge and the bridge had to open for us, and hence we saw it from the opposite viewpoint. Later in the day, of course, they had to open the bridge again as we returned from Greenwich back into the City.

    I have just discovered your blog today which I have found fascinating and you can be sure that I will now become a regular visitor!

    Barbara xx

    1. Glad you enjoyed my blog, Barbara. I do try to keep it up to date depending how busy I am and what I have to say.