Friday, 25 March 2011

London Break, Day 2 (Tuesday 22nd)

A misty warm day greeted us today in London and breakfast was a full English, something I have rarely, which probably made it more enjoyable.

We walked from the hotel to the Canary Wharf Underground across the river on a footbridge and was stunned to see two grebes swimming side by side and diving for food. The underground journey to Waterloo on the Jubilee line was my wife's first experience on the tube and she was okay with it. Fortunately it was neither jammed packed not too hot, both of which I've experienced in the past and can be a real pain.

We got off at Waterloo and walked to the EDF Energy London Eye to get our tickets for the Eye and a River trip later in the day. Another pleasant walk took us to the Imperial War Museum. This was an extraordinary experience and one which I would recommend to all ages. There is plenty to do and experience from the Great War through to the Second World War and beyond. There are hundreds of exhibits from a rocket to a tank to a Supermarine Spitfire hung from the ceiling.

However, the most emotional experience in the museum for me was going around thee Lord Ashcroft Gallery which is an exhibition of Victoria Cross and George Cross recipients. Stories of heroism of ordinary and brave men and women who sacrificed their lives and their personal safety for others. There are hundreds of Victoria Cross medals to see - take a hanky - this is extraordinary stuff.

Formally an asylum for the insane (from where 'bedlam' came from in the context of an institution for the insane), this is a wonderful building, guarded by two huge 15" naval guns standing imperiously as a snapshot of naval history.

Allow three hours to go round this museum or four if you want to dawdle. There is a WWl Trench experience which you can experience and a Holocaust exhibition which is for over 14s only and is not for the feint-hearted - allow an hour for this alone.

Another nice walk in warm balmy spring weather took us back to the EDF London Eye. I had been on the eye before, late evening on the 5th November 2005 when fireworks starred across the London skyline. Today was a lovely sunny day with crepuscular rays of sun over Westminster highlighting the Palace of Westminster and the iconic Clock Tower (most people call it Big Ben).

The Tattershall Castle which used to ply its trade across the Humber in the years before the Humber Bridge now graces the London Thames northern embankment.

A River trip, bought more cheaply as a deal with the Eye ticket, took us along the River Thames and an excellent guided tour with a live commentary from a very humorous and knowledgeable young man. This took three quarters of an hour and again, highly recommended; you'll see views not normally experienced from roads or footpaths. There were several bridges including Tower Bridge, Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, St Paul's, the Golden Hind (replica), Cleopatra's Needle and the spectacular MOD building and many more.

Back in the hotel after a great day and had a much needed bath.

Chat soon


No comments:

Post a Comment