I started the day by taking a bus to Waterloo Bridge, so I could stroll the South Bank where I lived during the summer.
I love the view from Waterloo Bridge, seeing St Pauls on one side and the other the Houses of Parliament.
After popping into a few shops, I went to invesitgate to see if the skate park was still there, and it was! With new additional artwork being added:
A little further along was the book stalls:
And a walk wouldn't be complete without a picture of my favorite bridge:
It was low tide on the Thames, and it was really tempting to go down on the beach and look for goodies like old pipe stems, and when I found a not-so-sandy area, I went down for a bit of a treasure hunt.
Only found a few nice pieces of sea glass, or should I rather say river glass...no pipe stems today.
I stumbled across a stand with brochures for London Walks, which is a really great company I've gone on walking tours with before, and there was one starting in a few hours called "Old London" which spoke of secret beaches and narrow alleys, starting from St. Paul's where I was headed. It gave just enough time between for lunch and a visit to the Museum of London, which is really terrific museum and more relevant to me this time around since I had the chance to visit their archaeological archives over the summer.
The walk was really good, exploring the City of London, which is its own little entity within London. The City of London was the original square mile of the first settlement; back when William the Conqueror landed, he negotiated with the City to accept him as king and in return they could keep governing themselves, so the City has different priviledges than the rest of London. It's also the financial heart of London, with not many people actually living there. Walking through the alleyways with names like Milk Street, Poultry Street, Garlic Street, you were able to visual how back in medieval times, this was still the financial area, where you went to trade in goods.
Along the way, we saw of the big sights, but also little areas like a hidden public garden, that if you were just walking by you'd never was there. The tour ended at the Tower of London, one of my favorite castles in England, I don't understand why the Queen doesn't live there! Probably because its overrun with tourists, but its just a great example of a Norman castle. And I learned on the tour that it wasn't so much to keep London safe, but to keep the king safe from the City of London!
After the tour I went back to the halls and warmed up because as soon as the sun went down, it got so chilly! It's good to have a night in after a lot of travelling.