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A Sunny Day in London Town

In spite of what you hear about London's fog, so darn famous they named a coat after it, our experience was different--one morning of early fog, and that was that. Sunday was glorious for October and here's the proof of it. 
When your hotel is practically a stone's throw away from The Shard, you can't help but take pictures of it. Then too, you can hardly ignore it in the London skyline as you'll soon see.

Just around the corner from the hotel, we ate breakfast at a little cafe. This is typical for many places we've seen in Europe--ready made sandwiches in the case:
More important to me was the availability of fresh squeezed orange juice--oh how I love my morning orange juice. Here's mine, so close to the table I wanted to reach for it myself!
For the life of me I can't remember the name of this place, it's been nearly two weeks now you know, but I remember a bit of the history. In my last post, we discussed how The Thames is no longer used for commerce, however, at one time, as is true with all great cities, the river was the lifeline to the outside world. In this case, there was a tea market here long ago.
The ships would come from the Orient, bringing much sought after tea and this area, obviously before it looked like this, had a cover to keep the precious cargo dry. Tom and Matt will probably cringe at my telling of this as I cannot be entirely trusted with accuracy. Not that I don't try...
It wasn't all that long ago that the London skyline did not look like this. Perhaps you read in the news about how the reflection of the sun on a new building melted a car in London? If you did, it's the white one on the left with cranes sticking out of it. Apparently they are doing something about that nasty little problem. Anyway, the buildings keep on coming with loads of them under construction.

Here's a fantastic new developed area, "More London Riverside," adjacent to our activities:
We split into two groups late Sunday morning...Bruce, Ray and Tom toured the HMS Belfast, while Matt, Gail and Jane toured the Tower Bridge. I can't tell you a whole lot about the ship aside from the fact that it was the last British war ship used in WWII, and they all agreed the tour was extremely satisfying. One more thing--HMS stands for Her Majesty's Service, for those like me who were in the dark on that.

Matt documenting the Moms, or Mums, whichever you prefer:
So, you see that span on the top of the bridge? That's where we went, looking out on the boys on the ship! If I had a pointer I'd point to the large grayish boat. Do you see the London Eye in the picture?
For a few moments, Jane was a wee bit anxious, however, conquering her fears, she thoroughly enjoyed our visit up high. It is still a draw bridge, opening about two scheduled times a day. Inside it is so cool with beautiful wooden staircases in each tower. Fantastic lights as well,
Lots of reinforcements along the windows...
Then too, after we finished this part, we went into the engine rooms, seeing all the amazing machinery which created the hydraulics to lift the bridge.
We're darn impressed with our tech gear these days aren't we? Well, I'm darn impressed with machinery from a century ago myself.

Following sandwiches on the steps of More London Riverside, we walked back to the hotel to say farewell to Ray and Jane who needed to catch the train back to Melton Mowbray, about a two hour journey from London. Won't be long and we'll all be related which thrills us to no end.

Matt, bless his heart, must have been pretty sick of hanging with his parents for so many days, so after leading us on about a two mile trek along the Southbank, we let him off the "guide hook" for the evening. What pray tell was the two mile trek for? Well, before leaving I'd seen some new work by my favorite street artist, Stik, and it just so happens Matt and Tom had seen it recently, so he led the way while Tom accompanied his parents to the station. Don't we have such thoughtful sons?
Typically Stik figures are very simple with only white, black, and whatever the background color is. In the above, he had people, primarily children, dress the figures. So sweet.

Walking back the way we came, there were so many people out enjoying the beautiful day, although I wouldn't have considered it shorts weather as the fellow in the above picture does. In London, anything goes as far as fashion is concerned:
And, if you feel like wearing white tights, or pale pink hair, why not?
On our most recent visit to this area, two years ago, we saw lots of street performers, but nothing like this couple:
A man and woman were dipping into pots creating the most fantastic bubbles you can imagine,
with the children, naturally, squealing with delight. This picture turned out kind of funny:
They are standing in front of Tate Modern, the scene of the "big announcement."
See those folks on the balcony to the left? The dining room is behind that glass. Look at the folks wearing sunglasses! Bet you didn't expect that.
The Millennium Bridge, colored blue at night, seen in the photos from a previous post. We came across a colorful little area called,
with little shops selling mostly gift items. It was here that I finally found a clever little gift to take home to Angela for watching Baxter in our absence.

There are a few amongst you who know about my obsession with Nando's from our last trip. Finally, we ate there, leaving me in heaven. I look happy right?
I won't lie--we were thrilled to be sitting down, so maybe any place would have made me smile. :)

What is it about the place? Well, this location is very, very cool, built under a train station.
You do have to admit those light fixtures are the coolest. Anyway, it's the chicken, marinated in this incredible peri-peri sauce. Directly from the website which few of you will check:

Many have tried to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes our flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken so addictive, but it’s no easy task.
I will have to second that. Normally I am not a chicken person, but their chicken-delicious!!
My goodness, there's that old with the new again....the story of London over the centuries. That even goes for the bridges:
 The new bridge, adjacent to the red pilings is covered with solar panels:
Most all of us as children sang "London Bridge is falling down." Well now you've seen London Bridge for yourself, lit up underneath in blue.

This old couple headed down the hallway,
to their room on the fifth floor and it wasn't very long after that we called it a night. It's tiring being a tourist!

Only one more day to go, and it was pretty low key. Eventually we'll get back to the here and now....
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