October 13, 2010

Tower Bridge of London

We used to sing the nursery rhyme  "London Bridge is Falling Down...."and perhaps some kids did not even know what we were singing about. And this time for real I had an opportunity to visit the Thames river...but there were actually so many beautiful bridges across it!!

So we chose the Tower Bridge and enjoyed the long walk around it. As our friend Kevin gave us a running commentary about the history of England (most English really know their history well) I could not but felt sorry for the queens of Henry VIII who had their heads chopped off .Traitors were kept in dungeons (and of course later had their heads off too.) Decapitation was such a favourite form of punishment all over the world across all cultures in fact in the past.

Capital punishment was abolished in 1963 but I cannot remember when the last beheading was held in England or in the world.

Again I notice blue is quite a favourite colour in England too. Here the bridge gets some new paintwork for its railings. (Blue paint gives an eerie feeling at night in the dim lights so night scenery has a special atmosphere.)

This guy is called a Beefeater. and it is indeed his duty to pose with foreign tourists in his century old uniform . Beefeaters are usually about 6 foot and above.



Fish and Chips here are not cheap AT TEN pounds...equiv to RM52 per portion and a young man might not find it filling enough. May be some one should start a nasi lemak stall here some one suggested (LOL). But Fish and Chips is as English as Shepherd's Pie or Cider. When in England enjoy English food!!


Sykes is a very interesting and Dickensian surname - like Wong. This man is actually using his hands to repair the stone work...one piece at a time. Standard procedure.


These are the pretty river cruise boats...and they are usually always full of tourists. London is one of the best tourist places in the world. This makes Queen Elizabeth II smile all the time.


This is an old  sturdy wooden gate to keep traitors in the dungeon. Good wood in England lasts a few centuries.




Me standing next to a fancily painted London taxi. They used to be quite black and drab looking. I wonder who thought of painting them up recently. You can buy one taxi and have it shipped home if you were an Arab Sheikh or a rich Malaysian timber tycoon.

Tudor looking extention forming part of the castle.


A modern stall selling treats....I found out that it was actually French food! May be the French don't like Fish and Chips so a wise French (may be) guy started his business here and sell nice French bread and sandwiches to his own countrymen. Oh hope I don't get arrested for saying this...but Great Britain is a place where freedom of speech is enjoyed. Hope I am not wrong.

It was not too cold and the sun was up. It was a lovely walk and Thames has plenty to offer...in fact you can enjoy the scenery along the Thames for the whole week and even longer....sit by the river banks and read the papers and no one will chase you away. And no one will give you looks too. That's civil freedom.

Even though millions of people visit this place every week it is well kept and is very clean. May be you will have to pay for your toilet use unless you can get into a Starbucks. So be warned.





14 comments:

Sunflower said...

Hi

Didn't know you were in London, could have contacted me. Hope you had a good time in London, you must find it expensive in London with the exchange rate.

Did you take a boat ride along the Thames? You've chosen right to visit Tower Bridge it's the tourist favourite, London Bridge is not that interesting. The blue paint on Tower Bridge at night when the light shines on it can make the place looks eerie.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Sunflower

We were to spent only two days in London. One day before we went out of London and one day before we left for KL. We were actually going to Cornwall for a Methodist Teachers and Missionaries of Sarawak Reunion...called Sarawak reunion which happens every two or three years. I met my former teachers who are now in their 70's..etc. Future posts will reveal.

thanks for the invite....I am dreaming of a return trip.....There will be hope!

Now I understand why the blue colour. Thanks.

Ah Ngao said...

waa...,hor mia lu sampai London bo. my dream city is Paris so i be stopping over London too when "it is time"(meaning when i got the bucks)hehehe

Bengbeng said...

totally agreed with Ngao -> waa...,hor mia lu sampai London

Ghosty Nana said...

showing your face!!! hehehe

Ann said...

My Ah Kung used to say why our Ah Mo teachers teach us the bridge is falling and yet sing about it.

Did you see where the orignal location of London bridge was before the Americans bought it?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao...I am ahead of you and so a few years' savings and the will to travel. This time I also had the blessing from God to travel and meet up with former teachers and missionaries from the UK....

This is Ho Mia...indeed. A reunion of people who worked in Sibu from 1950's to 1970's.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Bengbeng...one day you may be blessed by such a journey too....take the chances...God bless.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

GN....hahahahahno face lah.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes...Ann...your Ah Kung is right...why sing about Bridge falling down? The Chinese has rhyme...row row to Grandma's bridge...

Actually I once heard that it was a political song saying the Govt is falling down!!

No I did not get to see London Bridge's original site.

Anonymous said...

I have been there 2 decades back n I missed to go there again. When r u coming to share your trip with us here? We all missed u in our CG! Come n join us one day, I shall be leaving them soon too..........

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi....My wednesdays are still filled up...will come and join in Dec...you still around? Gracias....

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the late reply cos' lately bz. Mag said her group does not meet in Dec esp when in holiday season. Need to be with family. I shall be in another town. Can meet u all in Jan 2011 or Mag has to change to another group cos many are either leaving for greener pastures or husband being tranferred.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi I hope to meet you this month...busy too with house in Sibu and CNY...and no teaching for the time being. My choice to do more writing. Pl call me...I lost my Sim card + small carrier bag in Pontianak..I don't wish to lose touch with you...dear friend. Thanks ....reply is reply never too late for me....