|Hampton Court Palace from the Thames|
I won't do it in any set order, and some stretches I've already completed: a good bit of central London on both banks, and the route from Richmond to Ham House several times. Instead I'll do it as the
|Richmond Upon Thames|
|Tower Bridge from just east of it|
I took the Circle Line underground to the Tower Hill underground station. I love getting out at that station, as your attention is drawn immediately to the awesome Tower of London. Where else can you climb from an underground station and see a castle built in the 11th century? Not in Manhattan, certainly! And as you walk you can't help but notice a large portion of the ancient wall the Romans built, mostly re-worked in the Medieval Era, granted, but the sight of it transports you back still farther into history. I should qualify the statement I made, because in other parts of Europe you can walk from an underground (or metro, or subway, call it what you will) and see an image from the deep past. Rome is an obvious example. The metro station named Colosseum explains it all for you in that one word. Just across the street the powerful symbol of ancient Rome literally overwhelms you, at least it does Dottore Gianni.
|The Tower vs the Gherkin|
|St Brides squashed|
|Monument, already cramped and|
about to get more so
I crossed the mighty Tower Bridge, built in the late 19th century when the need for a crossing east of London Bridge became crucial, not an ordinary bridge but a drawbridge so that large boats could get as far up the Thames as they had been able to before the Tower Bridge was complete.
|Street along the Thames just east of|
Tower Bridge - the river is to the left
|The promenade along the Thames just east of the Tower Bridge|
|Brewery Square, east of Tower Bridge|
|A look eastward down the Thames from the promenade|
|Posh digs along the Thames|
|A park along the waterfront,|
between property developments
In fact Dottore Gianni enjoyed it so much that he just kept on walking, until he came to the village of Rotherhithe, a name he'd barely heard of, but which, after a bit of research, turns out to be a charming area with many historical points of interest. The name Rotherhithe, wikipedia kindly lets us know, derives from "rother" which means sailor, and "hyth" meaning a haven or wharf. Either that or from hrther hth"(words much loved by anyone named Hrkach!) defined as a landing place for cattle. But what's in a name? The history, the history!
|Formerly The Shippe, now the|
Mayflower Pub in Rotherhithe
Just beyond the pub is a canal from the Thames, starting at the river with a stream known as Surrey Water, and leading to Canada Water.
|The charming park, looking toward the|
Thames, along the canal from the river
It was a good hike, for I had indeed traveled quite a stretch from Tower Bridge.
|A look back at the far distant Tower Bridge|
the Shard of Glass rises on the left
|City Hall on the left, Hay's Wharf to its right, and towering above, The Shard|