Touring the Themes

While my mom was in town visiting we took a lovely tour of the River Themes. We hopped on the City Cruises boat at Westminster Pier and enjoyed the hour and a half journey to Greenwich. The winds in the river not only show the history of this majestic city, but its place in international history as well. The image below illustrates the route of our journey and the many landmarks that we had the opportunity to view from the river with live commentary explaining the significance of each location and some of the history behind various symbolic London destinations.  Map

I could have interviewed one of the many charming sailors who could be seen strolling the docks preparing for incoming tours or to take others out on the river. However, I did not think to sit down with one of these charming gentleman in their heavy duty foul weather great. That being said, I found this video about the River Themes instead. I regret that I was unable to think ahead to get an interview with one of the men, but my sailing instincts were in high gear being on a dock again in such close proximity to ship captains once again.

While I have lived in London for over three months now it is always refreshing to see your own city through the eyes of a visitor. Getting stuck in the routine of going to my internship, classes, and other obligations sometimes distracts me from taking the time to explore what makes this city so unique.

Along the river cruise we saw the orb, which is London City Hall. The architectural design of this building allows visitors to feel more connected to the historic connection that London has with the river. From commerce to tourism, the river has proven a vital asset for the city over many years and changing international and national relevance.

City Hall

We were also treated to a lovely view of the London Eye ferris wheel. From my perch on the boat I was able take in the sheer magnitude of the 135 metres 443 feet) high London icon. Here are 10 unusual facts about the London EyeEye

 

We also had the unique opportunity to view St. Paul’s Cathedral from the river. St. Paul

Seeing as Thanksgiving is coming up this next week in the United States I thought it was fitting that we also had the opportunity to see where the Mayflower was constructed. Now the location is commemorated with a pub. While it is hard to see in the picture I snapped while passing by, the exact location is where the small white building with the sloped roof and two lampposts outside now stands. Mayflower

 

One item I did not get a photo of was the HMS Belfast. This is the fird piece of the Imperial War Museum – Along-side the museum itself and the Churchill War Rooms. This magnificent war ship is one of three still in existence that war a part of D – Day in World War II. In addition to that unique piece of trivia, here are seven other fun facts about the HMS Belfast.

Of course, being on the Themes we had the opportunity to view the Tower Bridge in all of its intended glory. I would bet you five pounds that John Wolfe Barry and Horace Jones, the architects of the bridge, would not have guessed in 1886 when construction began that more than 40,000 people cross the bridge each day over 100 years after the bridges completion in 1894. More interesting facts can be found hereTower Bridge

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