Friday, January 13, 2012

Sunny day by the Thames

It was clear and cold today. After toast and coffee for breakfast I headed off on the bus and tube to London Bridge. I walked along the Thames past Tower Bridge and down Shad Thames which is a street in the old Docklands area that has been revitalized but still looks like it did back in the heady days of the dockyards. I wanted to check out a pub I had seen last time.(maybe next time.....) I wandered into a square and what do I see but a large bird flying around. A falcon or hawk maybe? Well turns out it was a Harris Hawk - I talked to his handler and this hawk is a working hawk (wonder how much he gets paid. :) ) used to scare off the pigeons. The handler releases it and off it flies around to different areas of the square. I was able to get some close up shots of it. Really a thrill to see something like that. Amazing!!! This is a posh area - the docklands are no longer in use and now are very posh real estate. Either office buildings or luxury apartments. So guess they don't want pigeon poop on their balconies!!! So this bird must go around the city with his handler scaring off pigeons.

Speaking of pigeons....what can I say... I like them. I know they are vermin but I love the way they walk or should I say strut. They have such an attitude. I keep asking them if they are Brian - I read a pigeon blog by a foul mouthed London based pigeon named Brian.(google pigeon blog and it will come up) is hilarious...well I think so anyway. I know, I know....

I then walked back to London city hall which is a modern glass building right across the river from the Tower. By then I needed to use the loo and thought they must have one...hey sometimes you have to be creative! I had to go through security but that was no problem...they have a cafe that is open to the public and I knew they had to have a toilet there and they did. A very nice one I might add. Back along Tooley St. until I got to Borough market. By this time it was just before noon and I was a bit peckish and I knew I wanted a meat pie. I went to the Pieminister kiosk where they had every pie imaginable...I had a lamb, mint, carrot, swede & potato one and it was delish. It was a tough choice that is for sure but I picked well. I was able to find a small table to sit at as well. I walked around the market a bit more and got a small hunk of Borough market cheese which I adore - that is tonight's supper along with a french roll. I resisted getting the WORLD'S BEST CHOCOLATE BROWNIE again...aren't I good?

From there I walked along the back streets to the Clink museum. This is one of the places I always stop and look at and say next time - well today I did it. Wow what a place. It is the site of the first prison in London and called The Clink - which is why prisons are referred to as that now. It was a bit gorier than I had anticipated and I was able to see all the instruments of torture used in the middle ages and beyond. Yikes. But in a morbid way I found it fascinating...which kind of concerned me. :) Very interesting....the term "pulling your leg" came from families of hanging victims pulling their legs to shorten their suffering. I then walked to the pedestrian bridge that crosses over to St. Paul's Cathedral. I must say I was in a photographing mood so was in my element snapping away....I do love that river and the views along it.

I walked over to St. Paul's Cathedral and saw the Occupy movement - guess it's the longest lasting in the world. Not only are they protesting the banks but also the way the British government has taken away subsidies for seniors, students, etc. Good for them I say. I then took the tube to Camden where I had another quick look around and got myself a pair of earrings I had been eyeing on Tuesday - also got some dangling elephants from India that Margot had in her flat in Paris.

Took a bus to Hampstead Heath but when I looked at the hill I would have to climb to get there I said forget it and popped into Marks and Sparks instead and got some apple juice and some more chocolate biccies (shh....) I guess I won't see Hampstead Heath this time but that's okay.

I will need some sustinance tonight as it's packing night. Packing night, double Corrie night, uploading pictures to my computer night - it's going to be a busy one.

Tomorrow I plan to go out to Canary Wharf to view the ice sculpture festival and the Docklands museum From there no plans....but it will likely involve Covent Garden at some point. I plan to have my last meal at Woodlands near Leicester Square - it is a veggie Indian restaurant and so good. Then off to see the Wizard of Oz which I am really excited about. It will be an action packed day from start to finish which is why I have to do the majority of my packing tonight.

Oh I did a trial run on the tube today to Leicester Square as they are doing maintenance work this weekend and I cannot go through Kings Cross which is upsetting as they have elevators. Luckily all the stairs are down so I will drag Eddie down the stairs - no way am I going to carry it. Golders Green station has elevators so the worst part will be getting Eddie down the stairs at Simon's without taking out all Simon's pictures on the walls. NEXT TIME I GO ANYWHERE EDDIE STAYS AT HOME AND I WILL TAKE MY SMALLER BLACK (UNNAMED) SUITCASE.

I guess I have to allow time tomorrow to get to the internet cafe and print my boarding pass (after 1 p.m) ..mental note to self...take my flight info out with me tomorrow!!!!

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