Sunday, 11 October 2009

A day in London - the South Bank

Yesterday I had a rare day away from the Forest. A visit to London with a group of friends and work colleagues. Here are a few photographs taken as I explored the South Bank of the Thames to the west of Southwark Bridge. I am still getting used to this borrowed camera, so they are just an impression of a day. A record of a walk.

This was the first time I have walked across the Millenium Bridge, which crosses the Thames between the Tate Modern Ary Gallery and the City near St Paul`s Cathedral. On an earlier visit, the bridge was still closed as the engineers worked to solve the problem of excessive sway when the footfall of crowds of people caused vibration.

The Millenium Bridge, designed by sculptor Sir Anthony Caro and the architects Fosters and Partners, was built by Arup Engineers. The design was chosen in a competition and the bridge was opened originally on 10th June, 2000, to celebrate the new millenium. Two days later it was closed again as the sway problems became apparent. Bridge walkers reported feeling sea sick and the bridge was renamed the "Wibbly Wobbly Bridge"! Reopened some time later, the bridge had been altered and improved using a Positive Damping Solution.

Diary of a Day.......

Dawn breaks over misty Forest fields. Animals checked and fed, I was free for the day. Less than three hours later, we were walking on the South Bank of the Thames.

A view across the Thames, where the Dome of St Paul`s Cathedral rises behind modern office blocks, refusing to be dwarfed by its neighbours. A biplane flew over us and then northwards over the Cathedral. In front of us flowed the green watered Thames, a river running through the layers of time and history that is London.

On the Millenium Bridge , looking south to the Tate Modern Gallery which fills the space inside the old Bankside Power Station.

Walking across the Millenium Bridge towards St Paul`s Cathedral.

The Millenium Bridge against modern office blocks on the North Bank.

Downstream from the Millenium Bridge. The Thames flowing eastwards towards Tower Bridge and the towers of the Canary Wharf area of the City.

A view upstream. The Thames to the west of the Millenium Bridge.

Despite the recession, there were numerous cranes and signs of construction in the City of London.

An old Routemaster, the traditional and much missed red London Bus, now replaced by more modern vehicles. This one can be hired for corporate events.We found it parked near the tourists coaches by Southwark Bridge.

A family of tame young starlings waiting to share a picnic lunch with tourists.

Homeward bound along the North Bank and a view across to the London Eye against the evening sky.


Bovey Belle said...

Last time I was in London I was quite overcome by the height of the buildings. Being a little rural mouse for so long I was used to much lower rooflines! I hope you had a good day out all the same.

Dartford Warbler said...

It was a good day BB, but I was pleased to be home again. My OH says that I have too much sky in the photos. Maybe because I prefer the beauty of the clouds to some of the uninspiring modern buildings beneath them!