Monday, February 20, 2006

Monument and Tower Bridge

This weekend we planned to have a look at a couple more sights of London. Once again London turned on an overcast and rainy day. The plan was to just have a look at Tower Bridge, but we got off the bus a bit early and had a look at the Monument.

The Monument was built between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London. The fires started 202 feet away from the base of the Monument in a bakery on Pudding Lane - the exact height of the Monument.

The Monument

The art work is very intricate carvings of stone,
with inscriptions paying respect to the fire.

We were not aware at the time, but you can climb the inside of
the Monument and take in the view of the city. The Monument
has a cantilevered stone staircase of 311 steps and
a viewing platform at the top.

Still a long way to go!!!!

The view from the top of the tower. You can
see a hazy view of our next destination
between our heads!

A few pictures of the view from the top of the tower. The
tower looks down into the banking district of London.

Going back down and it's still a long way!

Pudding Lane is the street where the fire started. The
original site of the bakery is now covered with
an office building.

All that climbing made us hungry so we stopped for a bit of lunch
at a patisserie called Paul, who are world renowned for their
extremely yummy breads, pastries, tarts etc. Probably not recommended
for a Weight Watchers diet!

This little bird decided he wanted to help us
eat our lunch. He had the most beautiful song
and his colour was very detailed.

Tower Bridge

The bridge was closed for traffic for the day for repairs. Since
it was being repaired we got to see the bridge go up and
down a number of times. Usually the bridge only opens around
500 times a year, and any ships wanting to have it opened are
required to give at least 24 hours notice.

Four of these coal powered boilers provided the steam
to raise and lower the bridge. Only two boilers would be
in operation at a time, generally up to 4 months. When not
in operation the other boilers were repaired and scoured for
lime scale.

I've been going to the gym (thanks for noticing), but still
I don't think I would have been able to turn too many nuts with
these big fellas.

No comments: