Friday, February 6, 2015

Day 2 on the Thames Path - Deptford to London Bridge

Well the train gods cooperated with me this morning and I got to Deptford in record time.  However the memory gods let me down - do you think I could remember what road I came in on two days before,. I wandered aimlessly and even my A to Z failed to help my poor puzzled brain.  I asked a fellow walking by if he could help me and he kept walking. (tosser!). So I wandered a bit more until asking a kindly looking woman who pointed down the street half a block.  Oops.  Anyway soon I was back on the path at Deptford Strand.  All I can say about Deptford is "how the mighty have fallen"  It was once a fishing village that Henry VIII turned into a naval dockyard.  Here the Mary Rose was built and Elizabeth I dined on the Golden Hinde.

From there the path stayed along the river for a while going by various docks such as Greenland Docks. 

While not the most enthralling walk at this point it was better than Wednesday's construction zone walk.  I soon came to Surrey Docks farm where they had a small café.  I had a cappuccino and okay I confess... a brownie...I hadn't had much for breakfast.  What I didn't know was that the topping on the coffee was all over my lips and mouth.  I wandered around like this happily seeing the animals which consisted of sheep, two donkeys, some hens and chickens and goats.  I visited the toilet and looked in the mirror and nearly died of mortification.  Geesh, you can't take me anywhere.

Sculptures outside the farm

Most of the path was like this - nice! 

Interesting looking building

Pilgrim statue


The two pictures above are part of a charming set of statues dedicated to Dr. Alfred Salter and his wife Ada.  They were both deeply involved in the Labor party, were socialists, pacifists  and dedicated to eradicating poverty in Bermondsey.  Even though they easily could have afforded to live elsewhere they chose to live in slum ridden Bermondsey.  Sadly their daughter Joyce contracted Scarlet fever and passed away at the age of eight  - this is a sculpture of her and her much loved cat.  The complete setting shows Dr,. Salter watching her as well as his wife standing nearby.  Very poignant. 
A few blocks later I visited the Brunel Museum.  Isambard Brunel designed the first tunnel under a river anywhere in the world.  When it opened in 1843 it was hailed as the eighth wonder of the world.  It was originally used as a pedestrian tunnel but eventually became part of the first underground train system in the world.  Brunel was highly respected by the workers on the tunnel as he would put in long hours working with them.  Fascinating.  And all for one pound fifty - pays to be a senior! 
At this point I was on the road but the path soon returned to the river and there finally was Tower Bridge!! 

Tourist land was upon me.  All of a sudden I went from walking pretty well on my own to avoiding being in selfies or getting in between photographers (I use that term loosely - I don't consider anyone using a camera phone a photographer) and their subjects.   
Hate to say it but the walkie talkie building (on left) is growing on me

The shimmering Shard building
Soon I reached London Bridge.  A quick meal at Borough Market and it was time to head home. Another five miles done.  I am a bit sore I must confess but I am giving myself two days rest before I head out again on Monday.  That will be a walk past a lot of major tourist sights on the South Bank and Westminster.  Stay tuned!   

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