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Published: April 19th 2018
Blue skies greeted us this morning, and throughout the day, as Londoners are enjoying a dose of gorgeous springtime weather. We spotted many of them soaking up the sunshine as we walked along the south bank of the Thames this afternoon. Who would have thought we'd find such glorious weather, in a place so notorious for rain and gloomy weather, but it's been a pleasant surprise so far.
Larry and Danielle departed late in the morning for their pre-arranged walking tour with a private guide, who would rendezvous with them near St. Paul's cathedral for a 3-hour marathon tour of London's most notable sights.
Meanwhile, Dee and I decided on a stroll along the Queen's Walk, a pedestrian promenade located on the southern bank of the Thames, which runs between the Tower Bridge and Lambeth Bridge. Created to mark the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977, this promenade is a convenient route of several miles that allows tourists to walk from the London Eye Ferris wheel, past numerous attractions, to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
It's just a short distance from our flat to the river promenade, past a string of inviting restaurants with
outside terraces, to the Tower Bridge. Built between 1886 and 1894, this iconic bridge consists of two bridge towers tied together at the upper level by two horizontal walkways, and allows for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The bridge's twin towers, high-level walkways and Victorian engine rooms form part of the Tower Bridge Exhibition tour, which Larry and Danielle did the day after they arrived.
We enjoyed walking along the river, watching throngs of people in the park near City Hall, while searching for a place to eat lunch. Several eateries along the Queen's Walk were so packed that no seats were available, until we found the Anchor Pub on a small backstreet a block south of the bridge. Once inside, it oozed the charm of a typical London pub, with a bar and several cramped rooms where customers relax while quaffing a pint or two. We gave our orders to the jovial young bartender, who phoned them in to the kitchen upstairs, and then took seats at some tables on the outside terrace, in back of the pub.
Our meals, which took quite some time to arrive, were very good. Dee had a chicken pie, while I
tried the liver and onions, along with a couple pints of very good beer. The barkeeper turned out to be a super friendly bloke, let us take some photos of him in the bar, and gave us a couple tips on some lesser known sights to visit while we're in London.
After lunch we walked further west, until we reached Southwark Cathedral, an Anglican church that has been a place of Christian worship for more than 1,000 years. The present building retains the basic form of the Gothic structure built between 1220 and 1420, although the nave is a late 19th-century reconstruction. The interior is very impressive, particularly the High Altar screen, erected in 1520, with its rich carvings and statuary of saints and other persons connected with the history of the church.
There are several other interesting features inside this church, including a memorial to William Shakespeare, several side chapels along both choir aisles, and quite a few grave markers. While there, we were fortunate enough to hear the organ playing, accompanied by a choral group composed of young women that appeared to be rehearsing.
We arrived back at the flat by 5 o'clock, and waited
for Larry and Danielle to return after their long walk around London. Today is Larry's 60th birthday, so the plan was to have dinner to celebrate the occasion. He decided on the The Chop House, one of the busy restaurants along the river promenade, where we all enjoyed our meals with a bottle of wine.
Dee's comments: Many interesting buildings on our walk today. Many kin people; as we were looking for the cathedral, a young man stopped and asked if we needed help! Plenty of beer drinkers at lunch, going back to the bar to refill their pints. All kinds of clothing, both young and old, since the weather was so gorgeous. Many people laying on the grass, eating lunch, and sunning themselves. Met a nice young man, with a lovely personality, at the pub where we ate lunch; Ate an ice cream cone while walking along the river--ended up walking 2 miles today! Larry's birthday dinner was interesting, at a packed and loud restaurant, but they had run out of bread! After walking home, time to ZZZZZ!
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