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Saturday, October 10, 2015

The River Thames

I had not been on a boat ride since we sold our boat last October so it seemed a nice thing to do whilst the weather is still good. Unfortunately, while it was warm, it was also a bit cloudy. Even so, it was a good day.
Prior to the ride my cousins and I jumped into a local pub for some lunch. Susan had been looking for the right pie and when we found The Red Lion specializing in pies, well, it seemed to be the place. The downstairs was crowded but as in most pubs, an upstairs dining room beckoned us. Susan ordered pumpkin soup and one of their vegetarian pies whilst I stuck with a chicken pie. Mike, who was clearly in the mood for sweets, ordered cheesecake and hot chocolate! The food was the most fantastic pub food I've had since arriving. The soup was velvety smooth and the pies were divine. Even the cheesecake had a special quality to it. So with our gullets full, we waddled over to the boats.
As we were looking for the boat tickets, we stumbled on this amazing WWII memorial sculpture. It includes Churchill's famous quote, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed to so few." It's a chilling piece of art.
We chose the right ride for ourselves, far less crowded than the other company with nice rooftop seating to take in all of the sights.
We started here under the majestic Big Ben
I always think it's great to see a city from whatever waterway runs through it.
The Shard, tallest building in the European Union
 You get a real feel for how thing ran when the river was the main source of transportation and you get such beautiful perspectives on the buildings.
The London Eye
I was dazzled by each sight as it came into view thrilled to get a better look at these famous icons. The commentary was provided by the driver of the ship and was worth the price just to listen to his locally grown perspective!
A clear favorite was the Tower Bridge.
The Tower Bridge
That and Big Ben where we started, are 2 of the most iconic sights along the river.
Tower Bridge with the Shard peaking through
The Tower of London sits impressively along the shores.
The Tower of London
 Lots of bad stuff went down there!
We learned that many boats started with a more noble purpose such as being an art gallery but most if not all learned that the only way to survive was to turn into a pub!
From Westminster, the City of London,
St Paul's Cathedral
through Southbank,
Shakespeare's Globe Theater
 the reinvented east end with its gorgeous riverside luxury apartments and the rather new financial district of Canary Wharf, we were really able to see it all.
Canary Wharf
We landed in Greenwich which is an adorable town worth spending a bit more time in one day.
Greenwich
I loved the dog sitting outside this pub in Greenwich
The Cutty Sark sits proudly at the dock.
The Cutty Sark
We took the light rail to our tube line and were home in a mere 45 minutes even though we had journeyed to the complete other side of London via boat. The Thames, while not suitable for bathing, provides a lovely afternoon journey and a great way to see London from an entirely different perspective.