It was a very early start to 2020 for me as I took a walk down to Canary Wharf Station and some other places before my wife got up. After checking out, we headed to the Tower Bridge area as that was the destination of our DLR Line and we didn’t really have much idea what to do on a day when most places were closed. In a way it was quite nice as places were nowhere near as busy as usual but that’s not to say the areas we went were deserted! There was still a few people milling around and some were enjoying the temporary ice-rink set up to the side of the Tower of London.
The nearby Tower Bridge (below) is one of the landmarks of London but so often confused by tourists as being the London Bridge which is sung about falling down in the traditional nursery rhyme.
Across the Thames River is the London City Hall building (below) which is primarily used as the home of the GreaterLondon Authority. It’s a pretty cool-looking building but does look better from the side angles rather than the straight-on view I captured.
Just as impressive for me were the domed seating areas (below) on the north side of the river which looked like something out of a science-fiction film. No doubt it’s not cheap to dine out in them!
We walked alongside the river westwards going past The Shard and the actual London Bridge itself…
…en-route towards Cannon Street Underground Station. It’s shiny exterior is a pretty cool facade (below) and one that (supposedly) inspired the architecture for a building erected in Ikebukuro in the last couple of years. It blends in nicely with the other modern architectural buildings in that area of London.
Rina took a break at a cafe near The Savoy Hotel (below) whilst I checked out the hotel as it featured briefly in last years Fast & The Furious spin-off ‘Hobbs & Shaw‘ (2019).
There were a few other filming locations nearby so I took the opportunity to track them down. As it was New Years Day, there was a parade (below) of some sort with huge crowds out to watch it which meant that it took a lot longer than anticipated to navigate the Whitehall area.
It was all worth it though when we finally got to Westminster and could see that and Big Ben (below) in all their glory! Ha! Not quite as construction work completely ruined that. Of course construction work is necessary sometimes but there is always something very annoying about not being able to see such a landmark in it’s full glory…even if it is something I’ve seen a countless number of times!
Late afternoon we took the train to my sister’s house for Rina’s final night in England. We had to be up very early the following morning to go to the airport for a 10:55 am flight back to Japan which was a kind of trial run for me regarding where to get the bus from and then change to the Underground. Getting to Heathrow from her house is usually easy but because we were flying with BA it was Terminal 5 and a bit more complicated. It may be easy to transfer to that terminal but without the knowledge it was safer (at that time of the morning) to do it by bus and train. Thankfully all went smoothly both times!
Back in central London, I later went to Westminster again but on this occasion it was to meet up with my old school mates Martin and Marchy for the first time since August 2013.
What a laugh it was. Not so funny were the ridiculous prices where three beers got very little change from a £20 note!
Later that day I was back at my sisters house to spend some quality time with the kids which was really good fun.
The following morning us boys (nephew George, my brother-in-law and me) walked to the Kingston Station area (passing by the colourful van below) to see a dozen traditional red telephone boxes which is an art-piece made to look like dominoes with George “vandalising” them!
King’s Cross Station is nowadays famed for its Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter movies. Of course it’s just a kind of prop which was set up some years ago for official photo opportunities! The actual wall used for filming was under the arched wall between platforms 4 and 5.
Forget that though as what I was more interested in was Platform 0. I always take pictures when I see one in Japan so was very interested to see Geoff Marshall’s tweets and YouTube video (Watch it here) late last year about all the Platform 0’s in Britain!
Click here to read ‘London Pt I:Balancing Time With My Wife & Hunting Down Filming Locations!’
Click here to read ‘London Pt III: The Vagina Museum, A Phallic Building, The Famous Cock & A String Of Filming Locales’