Total Pageviews

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Truth About London – A travel Confession – Part 3

Part 3

We buy transport passes with our credit cars, you have to have them going in at out of underground and buses. They’re easy to use, just slap ‘em face down at the turn styles.
More walking and two tube rides take us to Southwark and the Shard— Europe’s tallest building. Costs $40 and change for a ride to the top. Great views, we are told. I figure views are just as good from the London Eye and less expressive. They’re washing the Shard’s windows today—must be an interesting job.


We couldn’t figure how to get from where we are to London Bridge, and ask one of the many Police Support people, but she doesn’t live in London, she’s from out of town, and clueless, but has a cell phone. I learn London Bridge is not what we are looking for, it’s Tower Bridge. Eventually we get it figured out.


We have to cross London Bridge, then a long walk along the Thames to Tower Bridge. It’s an interesting stroll, great views, but by my legs are giving out again. I’m not a wuss. I work out at a gym three times a week, lift weights and do Nautilus,  but I don’t walk. Walking is not my thing.

We pre-bought tickets, for the bridge on line, so we wouldn’t have to stand in long lines, but you have to wait in line to get the paper tickets that you bought on line. The wait and line we’re not too bad, about a half hour. Wife’s purse and my backpack are searched. Anything larger than a modest woman’s purse is inspected at every event, ride, museum and side show. Guards stand at the entrance of every large office building. If you want in you’d better have a damn good reason. These people are paranoid—a heightened state of awareness. The intermittent scans and inspections are a bother, and should seem more of a bother. We get used to them, accepting . . . how it is. The heightened security makes sense—thousands of people thronging much beloved, and important places. It’s easy to understand, but sad.

The bridge is an interesting tour. We enjoy looking down through a glass floor at the top. People wave up at us from tour boats passing far below. It puzzles me how clean the glass is. Thousands of people walk across this thing every day and there’s not a scratch or a scuff mark on it. Most interesting was the old steam engine that used to raise the drawbridge. It’s massive thing, painted beautifully. I doubt it had the paint job when in use, but it’s a work of art now. Must have been a trip to see that thing in action.

When the tour over, lots more walking, and two tube rides. The damn train starts and stops like a jackrabbit and I’m thrown off balance on the way home, stumbling into others standing in the aisle. No big deal, but a guy gets up and offers me his seat. Embarrassing. I try to refuse but he insists—three times. It feels great to sit down again.
We find our hotel easily. I have a beer and smoke on the patio. The bridge is one thing off my bucket list. One left, The London Eye.

No comments:

Post a Comment