Dunno about sea legs, but I've got shore feet... - Grin with cat attached
|Dunno about sea legs, but I've got shore feet...||Oct. 30th, 2004 08:37 pm|
Under strict orders not to stay home today (and with a pressing need to get some lunch) I headed out at about 1 today to repeat a time-honoured ritual; to head down to Leytonstone tube to curse the loss of the really good caff that was adjacent (it's now either a fake KFC or a mobile phone shop, can't recall which slot it was in), and to head up the high street for an all-day breakfast in a less satisfactory cafe.|
Then I headed off to Tower Bridge, a task made more complex by my failing to read the tube status board at the station (Circle Line: Closed. District Line: Closed Whitechapel-Earl's Court) via the Central, H&C, East London and DLR. Actually it didn't take too long.
Disembarked at Tower Gateway (one of those delightful little DLR stations that's crammed into a niche at the end of an older station - oh and the train was waddling its little heart out) and wandered down to the bridge, camera in hand, to take the first of 146 photos of the day (a behaviour which upsets film purists no end). The light was all over the place to start with (cloud levels changing every time I turned my back), but cleared up after a short while to become a glorious sunny day. I crossed the bridge, snapping all the way, and headed over to HMS Belfast (a Second World War Royal Navy Cruiser of some fame that's permanently docked in the Pool of London). The trivia fact that its primary aft guns (6" A&B turrets) are pointed at a motorway service station 14 miles away is fairly well known, but the fact that much of its secondary weaponry (4" turrets & AA guns) are pointed at City Hall is sadly often overlooked ;)
Inside, the ship in incredible (note of advice - don't take a bag or rucksack, or it's really tricky to get up & down the incredibly narrow ship's ladders. Wear trainers or walking boots). The main turrets seem spacious until you realise they each had a fire team of 26 hands. Many other areas inside the ship (which isn't that vast - this is a Light Cruiser not a Battleship) also feel fairly closed-in, and being 3 decks below water in the magazine or engine and machine rooms during battle must have felt incredibly claustrophobic. The ladderways are designed to save space, not for evacuation. The ship's machinery is awesome in its own right, and there are some good displays - I thoroughly recommend it.
Luckily I found I'd covered the whole ship (well, the open parts) about 5 minutes before it closed for the night, and wandered ashore for a few more pictures, then though the Pool of London shopping/market development (there's a fantastic fountain in there!) where I picked up a few studs, to London Bridge Station. Getting home via the Jubilee Line proved rather simpler than the outward journey.
Then pizza for dinner & a chilled evening - evidently (at this point) I won't be at the films - today proved to be quite filled already. A good day, although I'm now being bombarded with a racket of loud fireworks - one of my pet hates.