Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Views From The Cruise Part 2

If you board the City Cruise boat from the Tower of London it takes you down the River Thames to Westminster Pier, where you get a fabulous view of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. This iconic London sight is, in fact, called The Clock Tower. Big Ben is the name of the largest bell inside the tower which famously chimes each hour. I must have looked at Big Ben hundreds of times in my life but the intricate golden details never fail to astound me.

As I’d decided to go straight back to Tower Pier without disembarking, there was a short wait at Westminster before the boat turned around and picked up passengers from the Westminster Millennium Pier underneath the London Eye. I admit, I didn’t enjoy these minutes beneath the huge Ferris wheel - Sparkly Songbird has a slight problem with heights and that includes looking at things that move slowly round and round with the express intention of taking you up high in the sky to look at the view! My fear extends to things getting stuck or falling down… not wishing to put you off a visit to the London Eye but it could happen!

Just as the boat started on its journey back up the river, the heavens opened and the rain came down. This was really the excuse I needed to go downstairs for the remainder of the journey as it was getting pretty cold on that upper deck! I bought a cup of coffee from the bar and slowly started to defrost!

With huge panoramic windows, the City Cruise boats provide great views wherever you sit and I was able to see pretty well until the windows got steamed up! County Hall (right), which houses the London Aquarium, is a magnificent looking building and, in my opinion, is a lot more impressive than the modern City Hall. The Royal Festival Hall (left) is one of London’s premier performance venues but has to be one of the ugliest constructions along the River Thames – it’s a shame as it is quite attractive inside.

Just so you can see how changeable British weather can be I am re-posting a picture you have already seen and another one which, according to my camera, was taken just 30 seconds later! Let this be a warning to you if you are planning some London sightseeing - be prepared for every eventuality; from heat waves to snow storms... anything can happen weather-wise in London!

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