After a fine buffet breakfast in our hotel, which was included in the price, (pity wi-fi wasn't), we met Marie in the hotel foyer at 10.30 and headed to Lancaster Gate Tube Station and took the Central Line. Why did we not take Marie's photo, really, ask someone to take a photo of the three of us? I have stolen this one from her blog taken when she walked most of the way from east coast to west coast.
We changed at Bank to the DLR, Docklands Light Rail, and travelled on to East India. Hang on, where is the train driver? There wasn't one.
No driver. The DLR ran well enough without a driver.
What is that? A chair lift?
So nice that high rise buildings are kept out of on historic part of London. Why on earth did that not happen in Australia? High rise buildings are in the docks, east London area though.
This is the O2 building. I puzzled about it, until Marie said it was once the Millennium Dome. Of course.
We arrived at East India Station and took a decent walk to Trinity Wharf, where trees grow out of taxi cab roofs. The cab was meticulously clean. (if you think the tree is behind the taxi, no, it does come out of its roof)
I do like a big buoy.
We did not last long on our day's outing before requiring coffee.
What a terrific place for coffee, right on the water.
Next to the stove were some tradies having morning tea.
A container restaurant.
Closer to the chair lift now. Shall we travel on it across the Thames?
The O2 building was omnipresent.
Some interesting metal art works were spread around Trinity Wharf.
We walked back to Emirates Royal Docks. An air line? Are we going to fly across the Thames? No, Emirates owns the concession to run the the chair lift. Marie sorted out the person loading the gondola, a jovial immigrant from Mauritius, so we had one gondola to ourselves. Mentioning that we were visitors from Australia helped. And, we just paid a reduced fare with our Oyster Cards, bought at Kings Cross Station when we first arrived.
The views were terrific.
Oh, are we looking towards where Pants lived?
Mid photo, the Thames flood barriers are visible. We once saw a film about them being sabotaged, but that is as much as I can remember.
Did I say the O2 was omnipresent?
It was a steep descent to the terminal in North Greenwich .
Why didn't we in Melbourne save at least one gasometer, as this one's skeleton was saved.
The O2 could be described as a multi purpose venue.
I am a little confused about how we travelled to Greenwich Village. I thought it was a Tube train then DLR, but maybe not.
Look, there is the Gherkin and the Cheese Grater in the distance.
The Cutty Sark is the last tea clipper ship, presumably running between India and London.
Greenwich Village had a lively atmosphere, well, not this bit so much.
I think that is the Observatory at the back of the scene, from where of course we get Greenwich Mean Time.
We had a light lunch in the lovely Yacht Hotel, right on the edge of the river. When we were last in London, 2008, we found the service perfunctory at best. This trip, we could not fault it, with most of the staff being very friendly too. The same went for the already travelled Europe.
If you would like to know more about The Queen's House, Marie has written about it here.
Would Sir like eels with his pie and mash? Nah.
We rather liked it ourselves.
We separated from Marie mid afternoon, who had shown us a very interesting part of London that we would not have ever thought to see ourselves. It was back to Bank on the DLR to change to the Central Line for Lancaster Gate.
Bank is the busiest Tube station on the network, and I would add a difficult one. The signage is excellent, as it is for all Tube stations, but while it might be an exaggeration to say it took ten minutes walking to change lines, it certainly felt like it. Upstairs, downstairs, around and around in a seeming circle, up and down more stairs, until we finally reached our platform. Tube stations are so different to what we have in Australia, even our underground stations. Space is at a premium in London and it shows. I understand renovations will happen to Bank, finishing in 2020.
I just like saying this as we returned to our hotel. Bank, St Pauls, Chancery Lane, Holborn, Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus, Bond Street and then our station, Lancaster Gate.
Nothing quite like a good embrocation.
The weather had held out for us during the day, but that evening it started to rain. Light English/European rain, but still rain. We walked not too far to The Swan on Bayswater Road, opposite Hyde Park, and had nice meal meal upstairs in the pub. Pub meals in England seemed incredibly good value.
No higher compliment can be paid to anyone than R saying, 'Wasn't Marie really nice and what a great day'.
PS Two days later Marie's grand-daughter Emma was born.