I must say I have to agree with him and I never tire of the place - there is always something new to discover or see. I went there again yesterday to meet up with a couple of friends - we had planned to go to the Courtauld Gallery to see an exhibition of Prints called Breugel to Freud.
However when we met up under the clock at Waterloo one of the friends suggested we walk along the South Bank to the Tower of London and take a look at the Poppies there. So since the main reason for our meeting was to get together and to exchange news and gossip we were all happy to agree.
We wandered along towards the OXO Tower Wharf where we stopped to have a look at a small exhibition of black and white photographs called 65 by Colin O'Brien. Billed as "a nostalgic look back at life spanning a period of 65 years" It was a real trip down Memory Lane I can tell you! The photographs were wonderful and the thing I noticed was just how dirty and run-down some places were back in the late 40s and 50s and although I didn't live near London or even go there till much later I did live near Liverpool in the 40's and early 50's which was much the same of course.
Having had our fill of memories we set off again and passed this strangely painted ship - explanation as to why it was painted thus were on a board ..
If you enlarge this photo by clicking on it you will be able to read what it says.
Here we passed the Globe Theatre or the third reconstruction of Shakespeare's original at least.
Book Benches to be seen in the city. As the web site says, "Trails of benches shaped as open books, decorated by professional illustrators and local artists, will appear for the public to enjoy. It will be a unique opportunity to explore the capital’s literary connections, to enjoy art from some of the country’s top artists and to celebrate reading for enjoyment." What fun to follow one or more of the trails and to take a breather on one of these decorated benches here and there eh? The benches are to be auctioned at the end of the summer and the money raised will go to the National Literacy Trust which is dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK. Can you imagine not being literate? Nor can I but many are and anything which helps must surely be a good thing.
Clink - which we didn't venture into! - for a drink. I chose an iced peach tea with fresh mint and absolutely delicious and refreshing it was too. I don't know if it was made with peach flavoured tea or just normal tea as it had pieces of fresh peach along with the mint in it but I mean to try it out at home as it was so refreshing!
Borough Market who says the English don't do markets and how wonderful the French ones are?!! This one is superb and I could have wandered round for hours. That building you can see above the railway line which runs above part of the market is the Shard said to be a "Beacon For London".
Just alongside all the hustle and bustle of the market is Southwark Cathedral which again would have been worth looking round but we didn't.
Past the Tower of London and on towards the Bridge.....
We reached the Tower and here were the poppies we had come to see - a major art installation called Bloodswept Lands and Seas of Red It was amazing and sobering to see all the ceramic poppies which spilled over the road and into the moat.
To lighten the tone we also saw this lovely sculpture made from wire netting - bet that was hard on the hands. The bird on lioness number one's nose is real and just landed there as we watched. These are part of an exhibition called The Royal Beasts apparently.
Routemaster Heritage Bus No 15 which took us to the Strand from where we walked to Somerset House and on the way we came across a sign saying Roman Baths so of course we decided to go and see what this was all about - well the Roman Bath was situated in this narrow street in the building on the right and if you knelt on the ground and peered through the semicirular window you could just make out what looked like a stone pool inside. This morning one of the friends e-mailed me with this link saying we'd been conned! It wasn't Roman at all but quite new, being late 17th century!! Oh well some you win and some you lose!
I had bought a book at the Tate when I went last week which was called Quiet London in which it mentioned the courtyard cafe at the Courtauld Gallery so we went into the building in search of the tea shop and came upon another exhibition this time called Time Tattoo Art at Somerset House - you can't say we aren't eclectic in our tastes can you?!! We didn't find the cafe we were looking for but we did find a tea room and had a cup of tea and ordered a rather large pain au raisin which we divided into 3! Tea over we walked across the courtyard - the one which is frozen in winter to form an ice rink but which yesterday was in the process of being set up for Film4 Summer Screen and came to the Courtauld Gallery just 5 hours after we'd met up to go there!!! Of course by now there wasn't really time to see the prints properly as we had trains to catch so we decided to give it a miss this time and to plan another visit to London to see it later along with the Denis Severs House we'd wanted to visit back in the winter and found closed!
Back at the station just across the river we said our goodbyes and got our respective trains home. The threatened rain and wind which had been forecast hadn't materialised and although not a blue skies and sunshine kind of day it was warm and dry. Though we are told to expect the wind and rain tonight as the remnants of Hurricane Bertha are due to hit the south west. Batten down the hatches then and indoor games for all tomorrow.
I do love London and never leave it without thinking of the next visit when I might have time to see some of the things I didn't get to see this time! Hope you have enjoyed coming with me and found something new along the way?