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Being Tourists

I'm back at work now, and my holiday seems rather far away already. My friend P came over for the final week of the holiday and we spent the week being tourists! When you live in London you don't tend to do the touristy things and I hadn't done the tourist thing since my parents brought my sisters and I to London for the week in 1987. P has never "visited" London as a tourist so we decided to spend a day visiting some proper London places.

We started by catching the Thames Clipper (easily the fastest way to travel to central London from here, £5 one way) to the Tower of London.

We were a bit put off when we first got there as it costs £17 for an adult ticket! We debated it for a while before deciding to just go for it and i'm really glad we did. When I was paying they asked me if I would like to gift aid my ticket price, so I said yes, and if you do this they count your ticket price as a donation and thank you for making a donation by giving you a special ticket that gives you unlimited access to the tower for a year for free! £17 for one visit is alot, but £17 for the year isn't so bad!

We went around the tower, over the ramparts, into the White Tower and to see the Crown Jewels. You now stand on a moving walkway to see them - I remember walking around in a dark room as a kid, now it's all very high tech! We've saved some bits of the Tower to go back and visit another time with our tickets, but really enjoyed ourselves - P especially liked the displays of armour worn by Henry VIII, including one that had glasses and horns and was very steampunk looking.

After the Tower we went to St Katherines Dock


We managed to time our visit perfectly with the arrival of some very expensive looking private yachts, and hung around to watch the docks open and close and the boats sail in. I love that kind of thing and it was interesting to see how it worked. From St Katherines Dock we walked over Tower Bridge and into Shad Thames so I could show P all the amazing balconys that the Butlers Wharf appartments have.


The balconys look like bridges between the old warehouses, you get one half of the bridge and your neighbour across the way gets the other half. Every time I walk down there it reminds me of some of the art from the album sleeve of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds.


See what I mean? After this we were pretty tired so we headed home to have Pizza and to plan what we were going to do the next day.

I enjoyed beiong a London tourist, which is kind of ironic given that the constant stream of tourists who get in your way when you are heading to a meeting and stand at the bottom of the escalator trying to work out where to go next while you are desperately trying to get off the escalator are one of my least favourite things about living in London! It's different when you know where you're going though...



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