Wednesday, 25 June 2008

England Part II - London's South Bank

Continuing from the Eye along the Thames South Bank, I stopped at Blackfriars Railway Bridge.
The original Blackfriars Railway Bridge was completed in 1864 to carry the London Chatham & Dover Railway. Four tracks soon proved to be inadequate, and a second railway bridge was opened in 1886. The original bridge was demolished in 1984.
One of the restored cast-iron shields from the original bridge bearing the insignia of the LCDR is on display on the South Bank.


St Paul's Cathedral is the fourth church on the same site, and was designed by the court architect Sir Christopher Wren. It was built between 1675 and 1710 after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London of 1666.

(I know that St Paul's is situated on the north bank of the Thames, but the pic was taken from the south bank.)
My first visit to London was when I was about 13, and my aunt took me to St Paul's. We went right to the top of the Dome, very impressive for a girl from the country who had never seen a big city before. On the way up we went to the Whispering Gallery, where a whisper against the wall one one side can easily be heard on the other side of the dome.


This rather rude individual is painted on the wall of the Tate Modern, and he's an obvious favourite with tourist cameras. Britain's national museum of international modern art is housed in the former Bankside Power Station which closed in 1981. And like all great galleries, it's FREE!
Lots of great stuff in here... and lots of stuff I really don't appreciate too... well, that's modern art for ya!


My London wanderings drew to a close with dinner with cousins and a performance of "Pygmalion" by George Bernard Shaw at the Old Vic Theatre. This Grand Old Lady was built in 1818, and sported many names and owners, finally being known as the Old Vic 100 years later. Canadian "Honest Ed" Mirvish owned the theatre from 1982 to 1998, restoring the old building to it's former glory.
Current artistic director is Kevin Spacey... remember him? He won the 1999 Best Actor Oscar for "American Beauty".

Lerner and Loewe's musical "My Fair Lady" is based on Shaw's "Pygmalion", and I was half expecting the actors to burst into song at any minute, but of course they didn't. Now I shall have to watch "My Fair Lady" again, just to satisfy my curiosity, and to remind myself of all those lovely songs.
For previous posts about my vacation in England, scroll down.

19 comments:

Luke said...

I don't appreciate that "art" at all. but the other pics of London are great.

Ash said...

I so love London!

CanadianSwiss said...

I think we need to plan a trip to London, soon. I used to go regularly 1-2 times a year, but haven't been there in ages.

Hilary said...

So nice to be able to travel through your eyes and words, ex-S. Great stuff!

photowannabe said...

Wonderful travelogue. I guess art is in the eye of the beholder but there is a lot that I don't appreciate either. I'm with you on that .

lorenzothellama said...

I know I've been away from the old country, but if I had known you were in England I would have made such an effort to have met up with you.

Did you go to some of the more seedier parts of Soho?

Did you go to Combe Martin and meet up with that old reprobate?

How's Callum?

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I LOVED London and I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED..."The Old Vic". There is a wonderful Art Gallery right across the way from the Theatre, too, that I just adored....So many wonderful things to see in that Great Great City. It sounds like you had a GREAT Time!

Vintage to Victorian said...

Am very much enjoying your holiday so far - looking forward to the next post! And of course you were the 30 millionth. As you say, no question!

Sue x

Jerry in Tampa said...

AWESOME images! Loved the pictorial tour!!!
Glad I found you - and I'll be back!

Jerry In Tampa

Peter said...

Incredible what you managed to do in one day!! Magnificent photos; in my mind especially the St. Paul one!

madretz said...

OMG! Is that painting as huge as it seems? I think awesome in the craziest way...that they take no issuance with putting it so OUT there! Wow. I love it so much more because you'd never ever see that in the states. I sooo need to travel internationally more.

tut-tut said...

Great photos; I bet you had a great time. Too bad you and Lorenzo didn't meet up! I'm going away, btw, for a week or so.

lorenzothellama said...

That comment about the picture of the boat is really sad. Jemima says that sometimes bodies are washed up along the coast. I feel so sorry for those people, just trying to make a better life for themselves.

Craver Vii said...

Aaaah! My eyes--my eyes! (grin)

Hey, your most recent comment was a big encouragement. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

dabrah said...

You got some really good pictures, and your descriptions are so vivid.

lettuce said...

it looks s though you did some of my favourite things while in london!

great photos - i love that stretch of the thames.

m.e. said...

love your pix of london....i'm learning so much from your blog!!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

When you go back to the UK, do you feel like a tourist of like you're home again?

It's great that you have cousins that enjoy the same kinds of entertainment. ;-)

Ginnie said...

I'm loving that I get to see these familiar spots through your eyes, Ex-S. I have such fond memories of that Whispering Gallery!!