Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Return to London, England

Our flight to London went well and we had arranged for a taxi to take us to our rental. We found this flat on VRBO and it worked out to about £100 per night. We liked the idea of having a bit more room and the ability to cook if we wanted to.


First impressions were that it was very clean, a huge plus. The kitchen...

Living room/dining room...

The bathroom with a rather strange shower arrangement...

And the bedroom. We were very happy here. It was close to two tube stations, several pubs, and the Tower of London.

Now this was different...a pay phone in the flat. You put your coins in and you could hear them clunking into the box below.

After arriving we went out for a bit of a walk. This pub on the corner, Wetherspoons, didn’t have a lot of old English pub atmosphere, but the food was really good.

One of many beers Jim enjoyed there...

The next day we headed over to the Tower of London to see the poppy display, which deserved its own blog entry. The Shard was completed in 2012 and is now the tallest building in Europe.

I think I took a photo of this monument one other time. It's a tribute to the Merchant Navy during World War I, but I always think of my father who later served with them.


We decided to do a tour of the Tower Bridge. There are a lot of new buildings around the area, including this very modern looking glass one.

Tower Bridge, just a short walk from our flat, got its name from its close proximity to the Tower of London. It crosses the River Thames and was completed in 1894.

One of two towers...the red, white and blue colour scheme dates from 1977 when it was painted to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's silver jubilee.

The old with the new...the massive Tower of London in the forefront.

We've done many of the touristy things in London on past trips, so this seemed like a good one to do this time.

A view of the surrounding area... Huh! One Canada Square...didn't notice that until we got home.

The tour was quite interesting...

During a movie that was playing, I looked up and almost had the big one. OK...not real people.

Buddy on his coffee break...

Neat information...

Tower Bridge as it was being built around 1893...

A view of Butler’s Wharf, known for its good restaurants and luxury flats. You can see how high the tide comes up along the pier.

We walked back across the bridge to go down to the engine room. The controls for the bridge are located beneath the towers. Originally, it used coal and steam to open the drawbridge.

A mighty clean engine room...

Flywheel provides continuous momentum to lift the drawbridge...

The tour was really interesting and I would recommend it. Outside once again, Jim got a kick out of this sign.

One of the iconic landmarks of London...

They do build uniquely shaped buildings. The one on the left is City Hall...

Part of the remains of London's City Wall...

Now that's old...

Back on our street, it was a great first day of touring around.

That night we headed to The Minories for dinner. Now this place had the old pub atmosphere, but it was always really busy and a challenge to get a table.

I'm surprised I have a glass of wine. It was normally a cider...or two.

I found it interesting how the pubs work. A lot of people just congregate at the bar to drink and talk. The Minories pub was built under an overpass so every so often you would hear the trains rumbling by overhead. A lot of history here...

Next up, the poppies display at the Tower of London...

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