Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A day in London Town...Part 2

Part 1 of this blog can be found here.

In addition to going to the hummingbird Bakery and Liberty when we went to London at the weekend, we also went to the Tower Bridge using the 2for1 offer you get with your train tickets. And it was £8 well spent!

I was concerned my vertigo would flare up and cause me to freak out, but it didn't. This was largely because there was a lift to take you up to the top (phew) and the walkways were well 'enclosed' and there was no chance of accidentally falling over the railings. The views were pretty cool, although the London skyline doesn't do it for me (sorry).

It was such a lovely day, with perfect blue sky and fluffy clouds, it did look quite pretty. The bridge itself is a lot bigger than I gave it credit for and the displays inside were quite interesting considering they're about bridges. One of the boards had a quote from someone saying "London's Tower Bridge is the most famous bridge in the world" and I must say that I disagree with that statement. I don't know what the world's most famous bridge is but if you asked me, Tower Bridge would probably not feature in my list. I have seen photos of far more impressive feats of bridge engineering. I would say it is the most ornate bridge I've ever seen and for its time, it's pretty amazing, but to me it's not the most famous in the world.

Did you know it still opens 3 times a day? And in the 1970s a double decker bus jumped the gap as it was opening cos the driver wasn't paying attention. It took 8 years to build and only 10 men died during it's construction. That's quite impressive considering the time it was created and the fact that they used wooden ladders to do the job! It is clad in Portland stone and uses Welsh slate and the steel girders were made in Scotland. So I guess the bridge encompasses everything that Britain was about in those days and it truly represents all of the nations' best resources and skills. I can see why it's such a great attraction for visitors and the London skyline would not be the same without it. It looks great at night when it's all lit up.

After taking in some cultural, historical and retail experiences, it was time to head off for an alcoholic experience. Vinopolis is a fun wine tasting experience and we got in using our Tesco vouchers so only paid for half a ticket with 'real money'. 
Whilst I enjoyed it, I can safely say I didn't learn anything about wine or tasting wine and I didn't like any of the 6 wines I tried. I did however discover I like Bombay Sapphire Gin in a cocktail as we got to taste some of those too! So now I'll be saving my pennies to get a bottle and a cocktail shaker to make some at home! We were interested in speaking to the wine maker from Uruguay which we were told about at the beginning but by the time we got to his section, he'd packed up and gone home, so that was a disappointment. I didn't know they made wine in Uruguay...

At £26 for the cheap ticket, you'd have to be really into your wine to get the maximum value for money. I felt it lacked any atmosphere and the staff were not particularly interested in helping you choose which wines to taste. So for a complete novice (ie me) this means you end up pointing at any old bottle and saying 'that one please' in the hope it's something you'll enjoy. If you're going there for a booze up, you're best going to the pub next door. But that's just my opinion and I'm sure there are loads of people who think it's great and go back again and again. I would say it is probably a great venue for a corporate event of product launch. 

 After this we ambled along the South Bank and marvelled at the state some people were in so early in the evening. You just never know what you're going to see in London!

Next time I'm in London I shall be going to the O2 to see the Royal Ballet which I am beyond excited about!!

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