A Stoll along the South Bank
As fascinating as the old London City was, we also spent time walking around other London sights.
We combined walk from the National Gallery to the Tower of London with a walk, turned exploration of the south bank of the Thames to the Tower of London, where we were to meet a tour guide. Among our many fun and interesting discoveries and acquaintances were:
- Trafalgar Square street performances, a number of whom appeared to be suspended in air with the only visible means of support being a single pole from which they were perched at an impossible angle. Their primary means of support is a large metal pad into which the pole is secured, and the brace that goes from the pole to the performer’s hips are both hidden under cloth;
- Eye of London, which as impressive as it is, also appears to be suspended from a support that is at an angle that couldn’t possibly support the massive weight of the wheel (other from the braces at the wheel’s base):
- Skateboarding park/Street Art and Graffiti Zone beneath Blackfriars’ Bridge;
- Sand beach, complete with daily-made sandcastles and, on the day we were there, sand couch;
- Globe Theater, a replica of the original Globe at Stratford-on-Avon;
- Winchester Palace ruins, the remnants of 12th-century palace that had been one of the city’s most important;
- Borough Market, a huge fresh food (seafood, meat, produce, cheese, etc.) market that is in the shadow of London Bridge and the Shard (the tallest building in Europe). The market, however, is being subsumed in a very popular prepared food market that offers a wide selection of street foods from sushi to donuts, from vegan to sausages and from Vietnamese to Mexican;
- Hay’s Galleries, a large Victorian-style gallery that used to house one of the largest market’s in London when it was at the base of some of the city’s most important docks;
- Tower Bridge, one of the most beautiful and, as we discover on a previous our, one of the most complex and interesting bridges in England.
Strolling the Aisles of Westminster
We had visited Westminster Abbey and Parliament many years ago, and walked through the public rooms of Buckingham Palace on our last trip. This time, we didn’t go inside any of them. But mere walks past these incredible monuments, combined with a visit to St. Margaret’s church and walks by Downing Street and the Horse Guard’s station were sufficient to instill a feeling of reverence, even (or perhaps especially) for a non-Brit.
The Spectacle of Growth
But no matter where one walks in the city, a couple sites that are impossible to miss. The incredible range of dramatic new buildings and especially all the cranes that are constructing new towers in every corner of central London. Although neither the developers nor we know whether this boom will survive Brexit, a casual walk through the city leaves no doubt as to the vitality and growth of the city’s pre-Brexit economy.