Maidenhead/Adventuring Day 7 & 8

Day 7 Maidenhead/Adventuring          Overcast/Cool

 As today was Sunday, we all had a sleep in and decided to have an easy day at home.  Janet got some photos of Lisa’s wedding from Adrian and his dad, Paul, which was great. 

We caught up with some washing and did some grocery shopping and other than that, we sat about reading, talking and plotting & planning our next adventure.

It was wonderful to be able to go to Janet & Adrian’s church again this evening – we went early and sat quietly while Janet and the church band did their pre-service practising.  It was very special to be able to hear Janet singing again.  This is something that we have been missing since the girls both left home.

 Day 8 Maidenhead/Adventuring          Mostly sunny and quite warm

 We are getting very good at catching the train to Paddington and changing to the tube to go elsewhere.  Today we changed to the Circle Line again and got off at the Tower Bridge station. 

We did a tour of the Tower Bridge, which involved climbing up to the top of the North Tower and walked across the walkway, high above the roadway and Thames River to the South Tower.  We walked back along the opposite walkway.  In both the walkways, there was historical information about how the bridge was constructed and numerous photos, as well as the opportunity for us to take our own photos.

We then went down under the South Tower for a tour of the engine room where we were able to see two of the steam-driven pumping engines.

The Tower Bridge, which was officially opened in June 1894, is a working bridge and ships up to a tonnage of 10 000 can pass through the bridge – when the bascules are fully raised, which takes one minute only, there is a clear waterway of 200 feet.

We then found one of the boats that Craig painted in Brisbane – the Thames Clipper Meteor, which was doing a passenger run down the river.  Janet had contacted Thames Clippers for us to find out where they operate from and so we were delighted to be able to find one of the boats.

We had a sandwich at a little café next to the Tower Bridge, before making our way to St Paul’s Cathedral.  We walked over the Tower Bridge, past the Tower of London, along the river walk, passing London Bridge, Cannon Street Bridge, Southwark Bridge and the Millenium Bridge. 

St Paul’s is a busy place of worship as well as an architectural landmark.  We were disappointed that we couldn’t take any photos inside, but we thoroughly enjoyed wandering about looking at The Nave, the Altar and the Pulpit, etc.  Sandy had wanted to climb to the top of the Dome, since our last visit to London in 2005, so we headed off to find the way up.  The first 257 steps took us to the Whispering Gallery, where we could look down on the body of the church and up to the domed ceiling.  Apparently, a whisper spoken can be heard 32 metres away on the other side of the Dome.  Then we climbed a further 119 steps – spiral, metal (see through) treads to the outside base of the Dome to the Stone Gallery, where we could look out over the city.  We then climbed a further 152 spiral, stone steps up to the Golden Gallery, which is at the top of the Dome.  We had panoramic views across London and were 85 metres above the Cathedral floor.

In case you haven’t added that all up, it comes to 528 steps!!! which was worth every step to get the stunning views that we had.

What goes up must come down……. although the downward spirals were much easier!

We walked to the nearest station, Mansion House, where we caught the Circle Line tube back to Paddington (which involved more stairs) and then the overland train back to Maidenhead, arriving just after 4.30pm, tired but happy with today’s adventure.

For those of you who don’t know, there are photos on the actual blogsite – on the right hand side – Gallery.  Please remember that we haven’t done anything to them yet so some of the stitched ones will have a crooked horizon or an inwards/backwards leaning building – Richard will fix these with his magic program when we get home.

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