London is just up the road from us, but it usually takes an out-of-town visitor to lure me into the city. Today I met up with good friends from the US for a day of gentle wandering and exploration. The River Thames has been a major artery for as long as London has been a city, and we spent much of our day wandering along its embankments, appreciating the sense of history and enjoying its international culture and cuisine.
We met up at Trinity Gardens just across from the Tower of London, then walked across Tower Bridge and headed west past many of London’s famous landmarks.
The sun played peek-a-boo with us as we meandered, forming a halo around the Shard as the sky reflected the moods of the rising tide. Just outside the Tate Modern, we stopped to visit with RSPB volunteers who had set up telescopes to let people get a glimpse of the peregrine falcons high up on a neighbouring skyscraper. They were an inspiring pause before we went into the gallery to marvel at mankind’s creative genius as manifested in the array of intriguing, often enigmatic and thought-provoking, art on display.
From there, it was back across the river as we walked on the elegant Millennial Bridge with its stunning views of St Paul’s Cathedral, Christopher Wren’s architectural masterpiece.
We ate street food at Burrough Market and washed it down with Sangria — because we could! I just may have fallen in love with Ethiopian food, all of which was gluten free – a real boon for me!
Leaving the mighty River Thames behind, we took the Underground to Oxford Circus – this plaque greeted us as we walked into the London Bridge station.
After the peace and conviviality of our river walk, it was a bit of a shock to emerge at Oxford Circus with its great hordes of frenzied shoppers. We joined the throng, eventually making our way to the lovely Liberty of London where this lovely beribboned creation took our breath away and restored our faith in modern creativity.
Saying goodbye (until tomorrow when my friends will come to stay with us here in Thundersley), I made my way back to Tower Hill and headed back out of London on the train where there was one last surprise in store for me. Glancing up from my book, I was stunned to see this lovely little labyrinth on the edge of the tracks — a complete surprise, one I didn’t know anything about. I didn’t have a chance to grab my camera, so this is a download from Google Earth. (The labyrinth is in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. I guess that will have to be a pilgrimage for another day! Information about it can be found in the Labyrinth Locator if you simply enter London into the city field.)
4 thoughts on “Lovely London!”
What a lovely trip. Your sensitivity to you environment amazes me. As for Ethiopian food, I had the good fortune to befriend a family resettled in Santa Rosa from the camps in the Sudan. I don’t know your experence, but eating on the floor with the food set on mats. No utensels, they served us a giant spongy pancake that was to gather food like you would in a tortilla and eat with your hands.
I love the food. I am glad it is a plus for your diet. That is the great thing about California, food fome everywhere is out there to eat almost every day. Fun. Take care, K
Kim, may I consider that as a tip what to do when I will visit London with my Uschi on September 24 to 26? Couldn’t Jeff come along? We are just back from our trip to Latvia where we stayed at the Labyrinth Congress for the German-speaking part of the world. We had a lot to tell.
Lovely Kim! London, of al the famous cities in the world I have been in my life
London still not one of them.
Have to get there …
I still regret not getting the Ethiopian food but the Sangria was refreshing! We logged a great 13 miles in our travels…I think 10 of them were in Liberty (I adore that shop!).