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Published: April 20th 2018
The weather in London today was one for the record books, as the temperatures soared to 84 degrees, which qualified as the hottest April day in the last 70 years! Everywhere we walked, local sun worshippers were out in droves, taking advantage of the summer-like conditions. In our wildest dreams we never expected this kind of weather here, so it caught us completely by surprise; it's warmer here today than back home in Daytona Beach!
Danielle and Dee made a late-morning grocery run to the convenient little store down the street. Shortly after they had returned, we decided to visit the Tate Modern, a former power generation plant in the London Borough of Southwark (on the south bank of the Thames), that was converted to an art gallery in 2000. We walked along the Queen's Walk toward Southwark Cathedral, stopping for lunch at The Mudlark next door, where we enjoyed items such as sausage, steak, and chicken with avocado from this pub's lunch menu.
After lunch, we continued along the Queen's Walk until reaching the Millennium Bridge, officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames, linking Bankside with the City
of London. Located between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge, it initially opened 2000. Londoners nicknamed the bridge the "Wobbly Bridge" after pedestrians felt unexpected swaying motions, so the bridge closed on opening day, and remained so for almost two years while modifications were made to eliminate the motion; it reopened in 2002.
The southern end of the bridge is near the Globe Theatre, the Bankside Gallery, and the Tate Modern, while the northern end of the bridge is next to the City of London School below St Paul's Cathedral. The bridge alignment is such that a clear view of St Paul's south façade is presented from across the river, framed by the bridge supports.
The Tate Modern, which is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world, holds the national collection of British art from 1900 to the present day. As with the UK's other national galleries and museums, there is no admission charge for access to the collection displays, which take up the majority of the gallery space, while tickets must be purchased for the major temporary exhibitions. We decided to forgo the art galleries today, opting instead for an elevator
ride to the 10th-floor terrace, where we enjoyed panoramic views of the Thames and the London skyline.
Upon our descent from the rooftop of the Tate Modern, we walked a short distance to reach the famous Borough Market, one of the largest and oldest food markets in London. There has been a market on the same site dating back to at least the 12th-century, although the present buildings were built in the 1850s.
The present market, located on Southwark Street and Borough High Street, just south of Southwark Cathedral on the southern end of London Bridge, is a successor to one that originally adjoined the end of London Bridge.
As we strolled around the market, the sights of the vendors and their eye-catching displays were as fascinating as they were enticing. A smorgasbord of fruits, vegetables, sausages, cheeses, breads, seafood, flowers, mushrooms--almost anything edible--was for sale. The girls made several purchases at cheese and sausage sellers, all of whom cheerfully offered samples of their merchandise without being "pushy".
This market was also the site of a terrorist attack in 2017, during which eight people were killed in central London when three attackers drove a van into
pedestrians on London Bridge, and then launched a knife attack in the Borough Market. The attackers were eventually shot dead by officers, who arrived on the scene of the attack within eight minutes. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-40147014
After leaving the market, and a brief visit inside Southwark Cathedral by Larry and Danielle, we made the mile-long trek back to the flat via the Queen's Walk. The goodies purchased at the market made for a great feast of various sausages, cheeses, and bread. Lights went out pretty early tonight!
Dee's comments: Today was the hottest April day in London for many years, even hotter than in Daytona today! Our lunch at the pub was great, and the waiter so friendly and pleasant. The art museum, in a very large building, was very interesting, plus no admission fee (except for a small donation).
The Borough Market was unreal...bought some cheese, sausage and bread...while Danielle did the same. Our dinner tonight was a great mixture of market goodies. Oh, forgot to mention, the little grocery store near our flat is just a few steps away---Woo hoo!
P.S. I think tomorrow may be a rest day. :-)
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