Along the River Thames

After taking the Tube to Monument station, we walked along the River Thames towards the Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge, with its castle-like arches, is commonly confused with London Bridge. Tower Bridge, however, is across from the new London Bridge – a relatively plain structure. The original London Bridge is somewhere in Arizona. The lyrics were correct: London Bridge was indeed falling down, and was ultimately sold to American tycoon Robert McCulloch.

The sidewalk was slick with ice. In the freezing cold, there were few visitors. I did catch another tourist giving me a look that I immediately identified as the “maybe I’ll ask her to take a photo of me and my wife.” Not wanting to touch a stranger’s phone, I squeaked, “oh hell no,” turned on my heels, and scurried away. Later, I saw some other poor bloke taking their photo.

After thirty-something minutes, we arrived at the Tower of London, , “an internationally famous monument and one of England’s most iconic structures. William the Conqueror built the White Tower in 1066 as a demonstration of Norman power, siting it strategically on the River Thames to act as both fortress and gateway to the capital.” The vast stretch of castle had housed the King and his Beefeaters – Henry VII’s personal guards, who were allowed to eat as much as beef as they wanted.

It was also a site where prisoners were tortured and people were publicly beheaded.

The imprisonments in the Tower of Edward V and his younger brother in the 15th century, and then, in the 16th century, of four English queens, three of them executed on Tower Green – Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard and Jane Grey – with only Elizabeth I escaping, shaped English history. 

We stood by the bank and emptied moats, looking at the castle, imagining how it must’ve looked hundreds of years ago. I shuddered.

We continued onwards. In the bitter cold, we walked across Tower Bridge, then took the elevator up to the view point at 140 feet. I skittled excitedly across the glass walkway, looking downwards at the slow-moving cars and pedestrians and buses.

As the sun set, we walked to Borough Market, passing through Christmas By The River by London Bridge. Both were sparkly Christmas markets with lights, music and food. There were countless Christmassy detours, including an archway and hall at Christmas at Hay’s Galleria.

Unfortunately, having dawdled too much on the way over, we arrived at Borough Market right before closing. I gobbled down a chicken pot pie, where a single crumb got on my forehead, as well as some focaccia bread. Before leaving, I took a call and secured some of the best mulled wine in my life.

Category: Trips

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s