before a wander up Oxford Street to look at the shops.....and an evening spent eating and drinking too much with my brother.
our hotel booking included free tickets for a river cruise.......so a freezing cold morning saw us hopping on the boat at Westminster Pier for what turned out to be a fascinating journey which began next to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
opposite the London Eye
apparently....on most days the London Eye makes its owners up to a quarter of a million pounds......not bad for an attraction that was only meant to be temporary......for the millenium year.....and why Londoners call it 'the wheel of fortune'!!
Blackfriars Bridge carries trains into London......next to it the series of columns that supported the original bridge still stand.....the original bridge itself was too weak to support modern trains.
The Millenium footbridge was built especially for the millenium.......opened by the Queen in June 2000....it was closed by the police a few hours later......as it was swaying so much......it took a further 5 million pounds to make it secure....it is known in London as the 'wibbly wobbly bridge'.....personally I think it still sways.....and one walk across it was plenty for me!!
Southwark Bridge is a pretty little bridge.....but if you look closely you'll see that it's people free.....apparently this is the norm....it's so hard to find that if you find yourself on it......you're probably lost!!As you approach Tower Bridge you can see The Shard on the left.....the tallest structure in Europe.....87 storeys of glass....I won't be going to the top!!
But we had some real luck as we approached Tower Bridge.....it opened up to let a sailing vessel through.....the first time I've ever seen it open....though apparently the record is 48 times in one day.
On a whim we decided to get off at the Tower of London and pay it a visit....OH had never been there....and it's a few years since I have.....more of that later.