Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fat Tire River Thames Bike Tour


I had to get moving a little earlier than normal today so I decided to treat myself to a traditional English breakfast out. Shaunda directed me to a little Caffe (Pronounced "Kaf") on the main street and it was yummy. I was waiting in the tube by 9:30 and as soon as the clock switched to off-peak, I jumped aboard! I'm trying to be as frugal as possible! I took the tube to Waterloo station where I met the Fat Tire tour guide. It was Matt - same guide as the last tour. Yay! I picked Margaret Thatcher to ride today. We started our tour at the London Eye - previously called the Millenium Eye - and then worked our way east along the Southbank. What a cool area!! I'm going to have to come back and walk so I can stop and see all the things we were biking past. We stopped for lunch at the Burrough market where I had a sausage roll. We met up at the pub and had a cider before we got back on the bikes.

The view of the Tower Bridge from the southbank is absolutely beautiful - especially near the Haymarket area. I was thankful for an opportunity to get a group shot. We had a fun group - a pair from St. Louis, a mother/daughter pair from Australia, a married couple from just outside Oxford who had received the tour as a gift from their daughter, and another man.

I think biking across the Tower Bridge might be the most awesome thing I have ever done! We rode in formation taking up the entire lane because it was too narrow for cars to pass - so we just didn't let them. Matt said we weren't doing something right if we didn't get honked at at least once. Unfortunately, we busted tail to get across and I didn't hear a single honk. It was AMAZING! At the Tower of London we caught the clipper (boat) which took us up river to the Embankment Pier. We had to wait about 15 minutes so I had enough time to call Jo and wish her a happy birthday. It made my day to talk to my sister!!

We biked through Covent Garden and the West End and then headed across the Westminster Bridge where we had a fabulous view of Big Ben and Parliament. We stopped plenty of times along the way for Matt to share pieces of information. I learned a lot - though I doubt I remember much of it.

Shaunda called not long after the tour ended to let me know that the Central line was "suspended due to a person under the train." Ick! I decided I might as well explore the southbank now so I walked from the Eye to the Tower Bridge taking photos of all the elephants and enjoying the various shops. The best part is just people watching.

The light was just perfect at this time of day (about 6pm) for the Tower Bridge. The blues seemed to stand out even more than usual. I decided to walk across the bridge again and even though it wasn't quite as exhilarating as biking, it was still pretty spectacular. I checked at the tube station at Tower Hill and it seemed the Central line was running again. How do they clean that up so fast? I stopped in Wanstead and picked up some fish & chips to take home. I was absolutely exhausted but I was afraid I was going to end up leaving London without ever having fish & chips and that would just be wrong! We had an enjoyable dinner with the family and then David helped me look for cars again on the internet. It was another successful day in London!

1 comment:

Josy said...

the bottom pic is probably one of my favorites of you EVER!! You look so relaxed and the background / lighting EVERYTHING is so great.... it makes me smile! :) I LOVED hearing your voice yesterday morning... thank you for your call! Have a great rest of your trip... what wonderful memories you're making! :)