Both Ways on the Thames
Last night we went to a free event at one of my favourite places in London – the Transport Museum! There we saw the prototype for the “New Bus for London” – which I think we’ve talked about here before – and enjoyed a glass of wine and a short (ok, moderate) trip to the shop. Lucky for you, I didn’t get any pictures of the bus last night, as I was crowded out by all of the punters. Now, that word is a British colloquial term for paying guest or customer, and some of my colleagues use it regularly for all purposes, although I understand it is particularly used in reference to patronizing pubs and brothels/prostitutes, or gambling (and we could consider the former types of gambling, couldn’t we?).
Anyway, that is not the point of this post. After the museum we had a quick dinner at Pizza Express on The Strand, just next to Somerset House where we spent New Year’s Eve of our honeymoon way back in the distant days of 2007, and then decided that instead of hopping on a bus we would enjoy the nice evening by walking across Waterloo Bridge to get the train home.
The bridge itself isn’t too much to look at – although the first bridge on the site dates to 1817, the current one is pretty bland (if streamlined) and opened partially in 1942 (reportedly having been constructed by a mostly female work force) and fully in 1945 (after repairs following war damage). The fact that it isn’t much to look at is quite ok, however, because you don’t care about that as you admire the views from it. So, the question is, which way is better?
I think Astrid and I agreed that west is best, with the iconic Big Ben and the nicely-lit London Eye. Plus, the Hungerford Bridge carrying the South Eastern Main Line into Charing Cross Station is surrounded by the lovely pedestrian Golden Jubilee Bridges with the white towers. Wikipedia claims that Waterloo Bridge has the finest ground-level views in London, and it is hard to disagree – especially with the addition of the river traffic below and the South Bank area at one end of hte bridge. Note that these pictures were taken at 9:20pm, and the light was a lovely final bit of twilight.
Afterwards, we walked through the maze of underpasses that avoid the traffic circle in front of Waterloo Station and got a train home – once the train departs, it is just 12 minutes to our station. Hopefully more posts to come about my trip to Taipei and Hong Kong in the near future!