Splendour on the Thames

IMG_8998

Meet the real London Bridge which was originally a wooden bridge dating from AD50. ln the course of history, several wooden bridges, a medieval stone arch and a Victorian stone arch have made way for this modern bridge opened in 1973. The total length of this 5-lane, prestressed concrete box girder bridge is 269m and any fears of London Bridge ever falling down is….. zilch.

IMG_9000

A Replica of the Golden Hinde docked in St. Mary Overie Dock which was an English galleon that circumnavigated the globe between 1577 to 1580, captained by Sir Francis Drake.

IMG_9015

Cleopatra’s Needle is situated in the City of Westminster on the Victoria Embankment. It was presented to United Kingdom in 1819 from Egypt in commemoration of the double victories of Lord Nelson at the Battle of the Nile in 1798 and Sir Ralph Abercromby’s Battle of Alexandria in 1801.

IMG_9016

The Royal Festival Hall situated at Southbank Centre is a popular venue for concerts, dance and talks. Residents at the hall include the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

IMG_9020

What a glorious day for a relaxing cruise to soak in the sight and sounds. Imagine what it would have been like with Handel’s “Water Music” being played to entertain King George I and his entourage during the Thames water parties in 1717. Setting off from Tower Millennium Pier, we did a round-trip on City Cruises with 2 optional stopovers at Westminster and Greenwich which took about 5 hours. Adult fare was GBP16.00 for an All Day Unlimited River Travel ticket and for Seniors GBP13.30

IMG_9035

Parliament Houses of Westminster also known as Palace of Westminster which was originally built during the Middle Ages was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. This amazing Gothic structure with the outstanding 96m Elizabeth Tower that houses the heaviest of 5 bells, weighing in at 13.8 tonnes… Big Ben!

IMG_9043

Ride the 135m high London Eye for a spectacular view of London City and the River Thames by day or night. It was officially opened to the public on 9 Mar 2000 and has been dubbed the Millennium Wheel.

IMG_9053

HQS Wellington was formerly a Royal Navy ship which served during World War II. It is now used as the livery hall of the Lord Mayor’s Show, where his Lordship can enjoy a glass of sherry after the procession.

IMG_9058

HMS President (1918) is one of the three surviving anti-submarine warships of the Royal Navy built during the 1st World War. Moored on the Thames at Blackfriars, she has been sold to private investors since 1988 and now operates as a venue for conferences and private functions.

IMG_9060

The prestigious independent boy’s day school City of London School established in 1442. ” Old Citizens” are what old boys of the school are referred to as; range from archaeologist to Nobel Prize Biochemist Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins and interestingly Harry Potter series actor, Daniel Radcliffe.

IMG_9067

We catch a glimpse of St. Paul’s Cathedral seated on Ludgate Hill just as we cruise pass the modern Millennium Footbridge. This is a Church of England Cathedral built between 1675-1720 by architect Christopher Wren.

IMG_9073

The iconic Tower Bridge of London is both a Bascule and Suspension bridge spanning the River Thames. It was opened on 30 Jun 1894 and has two equal bascules that can be raised to allow huge vessels pass through. This is often mistaken to be London Bridge because of the prominence it enjoys but it was in fact built to complement the Tower of London.

IMG_9078

A glint, a glare and a glimpse ~ The Shard of Glass which stands at 306m is an 87 storey skyscraper which officially opened on 1st Feb 2013. Currently the tallest structure in the European Union, it would be interesting for those without Acrophobia to visit the 72nd storey observation deck on a clear day to catch the lovely sunset over London.

IMG_8991

HMS Belfast was built in Ireland and launched on St. Patrick’s Day 17 Mar 1938 and was the most powerful cruiser in the Royal Navy during World War II. Since 1978 Belfast became a branch of the Imperial War Museum, saved from the scrapyard and is today a popular tourist spot.

IMG_9085

A spectacular view of London’s financial district with “The Gherkin” ~ 30 St. Mary Axe a 180m, 41 storey modernist skyscraper opened in Apr 2004 standing out amongst the other staid buildings.

IMG_9097

River Thames at 346km is the longest river in England and it’s lower reaches flows through central London. It supplies two-thirds of London’s drinking water and the Thames Estuary leads to the North Sea. In summer, passenger services operate along the entire non-tidal part of Thames from Oxford to Teddington if you have time to spare for this leisure journey.

IMG_9140

One of London’s 2 main financial centres ~ Canary Wharf is a major business district located in Tower Hamlets, London. Home of many big organizations like Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, HSBC, JP Morgan, KPMG, Morgan Stanley, Fitch Ratings and Thomson Reuters and contains many of UK’s skyscrapers.

IMG_9105

The Old Royal Naval College (from 1873 to 1998) sits on the south bank of River Thames, with The Queen’s House in the middle and The Royal Observatory up on the little hill in the background. This is where the Prime Meridian line is situated and up till 1954 this was where celestial observations were calculated to derive with Greenwich Mean Time which is now superseded by the usage of Universal Time.

IMG_9118

The Cutty Sark was a 19th century tea clipper that has been on display in a dry dock at Greenwich since the 1950’s. Built in 1869 the same year that the Suez Canal was opened, steam ships soon overshadowed sailing ships in the tea trade with China and the Cutty Sark was relegated to the wool trade from Australia.

IMG_9127

We visited the cozy little Greenwich Market which had quite a fair bit of gourmet foodstuff for sale and several cafes for a nice cuppa and a quick bite.

IMG_9137

Here comes the evening sun, setting over the city and all seems so peaceful and calm. Though the work day is almost over the nightlife is just about to swing into action in this exciting metropolis.

IMG_9141

A beautiful and colourful end of the journey for us. Thoroughly enjoyed the visual feast on the Thames cruise and cherishing the experience and magical moments.

Advertisements

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