Today, we decided to take the Tate to Tate cruise which cruises along the Thames from Tate Britain to Tate Modern. Tate Modern is just a cross over the bridge to St. Paul's Cathedral, which is in the city. From there we intended to take a bus to the Tower. We thought the cruise would be leisurely with commentary, but they've changed their methods to offering a speedy cruise, which is great if you're in a hurry, but not so great if you want to take pictures. All the same, we persevered. First building we captured on camera was the St George Wharf Tower.
|St George Wharf Tower|
The building is designed into three legible parts – a base that will house the communal facilities of the building including a lobby, business lounge, gym, spa and swimming pool, a middle section where the typical apartments are located, and the top where the façade reduces in diameter to provide spectacular 360° terraces which will lead the eye to a wind turbine that crowns the structure.
The wind turbine, manufactured by British green-technology company Matilda's Planet, will power the tower's common lighting, whilst creating virtually zero noise and vibration. At the base of the tower, water will be drawn from the London Aquifer and heat-pump technology will be used to remove warmth from the water in the winter to heat the apartments. In comparison to similar buildings, the tower will require one third of the energy, and will produce between one-half and two-thirds of normal CO2 emissions. It will be triple-glazed to minimise heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, with low-e glazing and ventilated blinds between the glazing to further reduce heat gain from direct sunlight.
|Royal Air Force Memorial|
The London needle is on the Victoria Embankment near the Golden Jubilee Bridges, close to the Embankment underground station. It was presented to the United Kingdom in 1819 by the ruler of Egypt and Sudan Muhammad Ali, in commemoration of the victories of Lord Nelson at the Battle of the Nile and Sir Ralph Abercromby at the Battle of Alexandria in 1801. Although the British government welcomed the gesture, it declined to fund the expense of transporting it to London.
|Raising the Needle in 1878|
The obelisk remained in Alexandria until 1877 when Sir William James Erasmus Wilson, a distinguished anatomist and dermatologist, sponsored its transportation to London at a cost of some £10,000 (a very considerable sum in those days). It was dug out of the sand in which it had been buried for nearly 2,000 years and was encased in a great iron cylinder, 92 feet (28 m) long and 16 feet (4.9 m) in diameter, designed by the engineer John Dixon and dubbed Cleopatra, to be commanded by Captain Carter. It had a vertical stem and stern, a rudder, two bilge keels, a mast for balancing sails, and a deck house. This acted as a floating pontoon which was to be towed to London by the ship Olga, commanded by Captain Booth.
|Close up of the inscriptions on Cleopatra's Needle|
|Cleopatra's Needle with Sphinxes|
|The Palace of Westminster|
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames. The entire structure is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft), making it the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe. When erected in 1999 it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, until surpassed first by the 160 m (520 ft) Star of Nanchang in 2006 and then the 165 m (541 ft) Singapore Flyer in 2008.
Supported by an A-frame on one side only, unlike the taller Nanchang and Singapore wheels, the Eye is described by its operators as "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel". It offered the highest public viewing point in the city until it was superseded by the 245-metre (804 ft) observation deck on the 72nd floor of The Shard, which opened to the public on 1 February 2013.
The Millennium Bridge, officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames in London, linking Bankside with the City of London. It is sited between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge. Construction of the bridge began in 1998, with the opening in June 2000.
Londoners nicknamed the bridge the "Wibbly Wobbly Bridge" after participants in a charity walk on behalf of Save the Children to open the bridge felt an unexpected and, for some, uncomfortable swaying motion on the first two days after the bridge opened. The bridge was closed later that day, and after two days of limited access the bridge was closed for almost two years while modifications were made to eliminate the wobble entirely. It reopened in 2002.
|St Pauls from Millennium Bridge|
The southern end of the bridge is near the Globe theatre, the Bankside Gallery and Tate Modern, the north end next to the City of London School below St Paul's Cathedral. The bridge alignment is such that a clear view of St Paul's south façade is presented from across the river, framed by the bridge supports.
Upon reaching the Tate Modern, we took a bus to the Tower of London so we could purchase our annual Christmas Ornament. This year they also offered a limited edition for next year, so we got it too.
Ornaments in hand, we took a bus back to the flat then settled in for sandwiches. While at the Tower, two English ladies offered us tickets to the Hop on Hop off bus tour, which includes a tour over to Greenwich, so that's our plan for tomorrow (Hallowe'en).
Hope to have more pictures for you that will include some of the decorations around the city for the spooky holiday. Until then....