London 2013: Cruising down the Thames

Our sightseeing bus tickets included a free river cruise. So we hopped off the bus at Westminster Bridge and crossed over the bridge to Westminster Pier to catch our boat.  The only problem we had is that half of London was already in line waiting for the same boat! Well, maybe not that many but it seems that the majority of people who took the various bus tours that day also opted for the free cruise.

Our cruise started at Westminster Pier below the Tower of Big Ben.

Our cruise started at Westminster Pier below the Tower of Big Ben.

We waited for about 30 minutes and finally boarded our ship but were told that only 300 people could fit on the top deck and we would have to go below. I was hoping we could stand on top so that I could take some outside photos but I had to make the best of shooting inside through dirty windows.

Our cruise took about a half-hour. Our choices were to either exit at Tower Pier or go back to Westminster. Earlier boats also went as far downstream as Greenwich.  Here are some of the photos I took during the cruise:

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The HQS Wellington is one of several naval ships moored along the river.

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Central London skyscrapers beyond Blackfriars Bridge.

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St Paul’s Cathedral and Blackfriars Bridge.

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An older Blackfriars Bridge, built in 1864, was removed in 1985 but its red pillars remain.

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Approaching Tower Bridge.

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Another view of Tower Bridge.

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Many prisoners entered the Tower of London via the Traitors Gate — among them were Ann Boleyn, Catherine Howard and Sir Thomas More.

We decided that we had enough sightseeing for the day and so we hopped off the boat at the Tower Pier and walked up past the Tower of London to Tower Hill Station to catch the tube back to Stratford where we had dinner and then joined the hotel’s nightly wine and hors d’oeuvres reception.

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We passed this mural advertising the Tower of London tourist attractions on our way up Tower Hill.

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The Tower of London.

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Tower Hill Memorial to members of merchant and fishing fleets who died during both world wars..

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Another view of the Tower.

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Yet another photo with the Shard in the background.

Back at the hotel we raised our wine glasses and cheerfully agreed that our first full day in London (Wednesday, September 25th) was lovely.

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About crowcanyonjournal

I am a family man with interests in family history, photography, history and travel.
This entry was posted in London, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to London 2013: Cruising down the Thames

  1. gpcox says:

    So much history stored in these beautiful photographs. An obviously wonderful trip.

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