Let it not be said that we never go south of the river. Today is a case in point.
We started by going to Hays Galleria. It was quite early when we arrived and almost deserted, as the above photo shows. Knowing us, you will be unsurprised to hear that we were looking for breakfast.
We enjoyed a leisurely meal (to be honest, more brunch than breakfast) at Café Rouge. While we were eating, the scene began to change as more and more people arrived.
This site was originally Hays Wharf, specializing in the importation of dairy produce, lamb, tea, coffee and cocoa. This role ended with the closing of the docks and in the 1980, Hays Wharf was provided with a glass roof and given new life as a residential and retail centre.
Here too is moored HMS Belfast, a Royal Naval light cruiser that served in WWII and the Korean war and is today a museum ship and very popular with visitors.
We walked along the Thames towards Tower Bridge, reaching London City Hall. The design of the building and the expense of building were criticised, and so was its siting here in a prime riverside location.
Personally, I consider it an ugly lump and a blot on the riverside landscape. It looks as if it’s about to fall over and the sooner it does so, the better.
Nearby is a small rough garden called Potters Fields Park. It has grasses, herbs and flowers and attracts a lot of pollen-gathering insects. Here is a selection of the ones I found.
The main landmark hereabouts is of course Tower Bridge. Opened in 1894 and designed in a style to harmonize with the nearby Tower of London, it quickly became one of the most famous bridges in the world and an icon of London.
We went to the road to catch a bus across Tower Bridge. However, it was at this moment that the bridge was opened to allow a tall ship to pass through and all the traffic was halted for some time.
Back on the north bank, we went on a general ramble that nevertheless led us eventually to Liverpool Street where we could catch a bus home. Trinity House, pictured above, is the central authority for lighthouses for England, Wales and the Channel Islands. It received its original charter from Henry VIII.
This is the the sign of of a pub that today stands on or near a site once occupied by the Crutched or Crossed Friars, a mendicant order. To me it looks as if he is about to enjoy a nice mug of tea!
The notable thing about this scene is the variety of architectural styles and the span of time that the buildings cover, from the stone tower of All Hallows, dating from 1320 to the glass bullet of the Gherkin, completed in 2003.
From a distance, the smooth, vase-like, shape of the Gherkin somehow disguises its size and it is only when you begin to approach it that you realize how big it is. It tends to dominate the skyline from all points in the central area and even farther out.
These days, the Gherkin has a rival in the shape of the Heron Tower. The shape is not as appealing – in fact, it is definitely nondescript – but it tops the Gherkin with ease.
One of the fascinating features of our world is the contrast between the big and the small. As an antidote to these monstrous buildings, here is a picture of a beetle walking along a bench in Potters Fields.
Copyright © 2010 SilverTiger, https://tigergrowl.wordpress.com, All rights reserved.