London Blog Pt. 11 - "Lazy morning, a long walk, a late evening"

I'm getting a bit behind in this blog, but it's only because I'm having so much fun right now that I haven't had as much time back at the flat. Right now I'm sitting on the sofa, I can see the Gherkin out the front window. It's a bit cloudy and cool, it's supposed to get up to only 79 today, which is the coolest it's been since I got here. That's good, because we're going out to Hampton Court Palace today. But it's supposed to be 90 on Monday. Say what?! I know, I know, desert girl complaining about 90 heat but it really is different over here. For one, most places don't have AC, which means they don't even have a central ventilation system, so there's not even any air moving around. You might not think it, but 85 degrees and no air flow in a confined space does not mix.

For the Arizona people reading this and rolling their eyes at such low temps compared to our usual 110+ temps, think about this: It's only a nice 85 degree day but you go to get in your car in the afternoon after it's been sitting in the sun for a couple hours. It's not hot inside, but it's significantly warmer than it is outside. Now imagine your AC is broken...and you can't roll your windows down. It's not hot enough to kill you, but the longer you sit there the more uncomfortable it gets. Sweat starts to drip down your face, your clothes start to cling to you. Now imagine there's 4 other people in your car. You're not driving far, just a 10 minute drive, but your stuck in traffic, so you're not moving very fast. Again, the temp in the car isn't enough to kill you, but it's very warm and since your AC and windows are broken there's no air moving around.......

....yeah. That's roughly what it's like riding the Tube right now. :( So while I'm not complaining about how warm it's been, I'm not exaggerating when I say it's been very hot by London standards and it's going to be interesting to see what happens on Monday if it does hit 90*. London wasn't built/equipped to deal with high temps like that. And Londoners aren't used to making sure they drink lots of water or stay out of the sun the way we Arizonans are.

Ok, so now that I've told you all about our heatwave, I'll fill you in on what I did yesterday.

We had a really lazy morning after being up so late the night before. I read some Harry Potter and took a nap. Super exciting, I know.

But about 1:30 I went out for a long walk. I walked from the flat to the river and then over to the Tower of London and crossed the Tower Bridge (for the first time, that thing is so cool!), then dropped down to the Queen's Walk along the south side of the river. I walked through Hay's Galleria and over to London Bridge which I crossed to get back to the north bank and then wound my way back to the flat where I stopped at Caffe Nero for a latte frappe and a brownie (yes, I know I have a problem) and then walked around to the church yard behind the flat to sat outside in the shade and the breeze for an hour. It was glorious. 

In the evening Alicia and I went out to a farewell gathering some of her work friends were having for their bosses. It was at this really cool place called The Fire Station Bar and Restaurant next to Waterloo Station. I got to meet a lot of Alicia's friends and we got to see David again (the friend who came over the night before).

All in all, it was a great day. :)

Here's the photo recap:

This building had these really cool statues on top.

Leadenhall Market, jam packed with the lunch crowd. It was much quieter when I passed through it again on my way home.

This end was quieter during the lunch hour because it was just shops and not restaurants.

This was a gorgeous old church ruin I passed by. I think what I love most about London is all the amazing history mixed in with all the new. The history of this site is in the picture below of the plaque I found.

The Tower Bridge. I was determined to walk across it today instead of just take pictures from the North Bank. 
But first, I walked to the other side of the bridge on the north side to take a picture of this cool statue that's part of a fountain.

Ok, time to cross.

The Shard over some trees.

On the bridge look down at where I had just been.

Nearly half way across.

Smack dab over the middle of the bridge. The Tower Bridge can be raised in the middle so this is looking down through the crack to the river below. And for all the walking I'm doing on this trip I have to say, my red Converse are doing me proud. My feet only hurt on the days I don't wear them.

The details on this bridge really are amazing.

Looking back at the Tower of London with the City skyline in the background.

Crossed under the bridge a little ways to see what there was to see and found another funny pub sign. Someone should do a Tumblr of funny British pub signs, if there isn't one already. :) Some of the ones I've been finding have been hilarious.

On the Queen's Walk looking up at the bridge and across to the Tower of London.

Panoramic shot (LOVE that feature on the iPhone!) of the view from the Queen's Walk. Left to right: the Shard, London Bridge, the City skyline, the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge.

The Tower and the City.

HMS Belfast.

Hay's Galleria 

Cool fountain inside Hay's Galleria.

So, all the river front you see to the left and right of the Tower Bridge is pretty much what I've just walked so far.

Looking back up the river.

Back at the Church of St. Dunstan.

Inside the ruins. There's tons of benches and this place was pretty full an hour before of people enjoying a quiet lunch. It was so peaceful.

Heading back to the flat.

The skyscrapers they've been building have been amazing.

Quick coffee and journal break.

Where we went for dinner was right across the street from the Old Vic theatre.

Some of the advertisements are hilarious. This is a visual that just makes me laugh.


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