2012 Olympic site
Below are an indication of what we were passing through, would love to see some of it in 4 years.
Moored in Limehouse
We had called ahead to Limehouse Lock keepers to find out what the mooring situation was. Since we had not been there before and our guide book mentioned a marina we were unsure of what lay ahead. The lock keeper was very helpful and said there was no problem with us staying until Tuesday along the wall which is where you can see us above. He did warn us that it would be a busy weekend and that we would have to breast up which indeed has proved the case. The Cruising Association have their headquarters here and they had a meet this weekend so there were half a dozen largish yachts and motor cruisers alongside the wall also. Their clubhouse is open to all and we had a drink there on the Friday evening and found their prices much cheaper than the pubs. We were given an information sheet with good gen on marina facilities and surrounding area. There are showers, laundry etc and it is altogether a very congenial place to stay. We are still glad Ellie is not with us as the wall is quite high and getting her on and off would have been a problem(It is still very strange on the boat without her though)
Friday evening was beautiful and we had our supper in the cratch as we watched the setting sun (No one alongside us yet) We are surrounded by all these apartments which have obviously been built over the last 20 years. In one of the local pubs they have some historical pictures of the area and one dated 1982 shows nothing here apart from the remnants of the old docks. The local estate agents show some of them for sale over £700,000.
The reason for the stay until Tuesday is that we can do an early morning departure (0715) which means there should not be as much river traffic. Having now been to watch what goes on and seen some of the high speed trip boats whizzing past the entrance we think that is the best time to go. Apparently they don't get into their stride until about 9.30 by which time we hope to be past Westminster Bridge.
Saturday we decided to be sightseers and the aim was Southwark Cathedral. This was to be on foot as this is the only way Geoff likes to view. However we went fairly gently and stopped at various places en route. Before departing we watched a convoy of little boats coming down river to the Limehouse entrance.
One of the first places we passed was Shadwell Basin with lots of apartments and a huge area of water with possible mooring but completely landlocked as far as we could see. What had been a lock and a bridge were no longer in use
St Katherines Dock was the next stop which I found quite an eye-opener. There were quite a lot of large yachts moored there and some very up-market shops and apartments. There were spaces for more boats which we thought was an indication of how much it probably cost to moor there. We stopped for a Cappuccino in one of the numerous cafesSt Katherine's Dock
Next came the Tower of London which with an entrance fee of £14 (Concession) we decided not to visit. The crowds around were another turn off.
Chapel in the Crypt All Hallows
Next came an unscheduled stop at All Hallows Church which looked interesting. It is the oldest church in London and you can see more details on their website http://www.allhallowsbythetower.org.uk/
We eventually reached Southwark Cathedral our original goal. Geoff had wanted to revisit the scene of his confirmation in the early fifties. He also found a plaque on the wall commemorating the services of his then vicar Peter Penwarden for his services as vice-provost at the Cathedral. After a good look around we explored the adjacent Borough Market and then found a convenient refreshment place overlooking the river for lunch. The sun was still shining on us so we felt very fortunate.
St Peter's Barge London's Floating Church
On Leaving Canary Wharf we saw this array of traffic lights which was obviously an art structure but as the lights were all changing I think I would have been somewhat confused if I had been driving past the junction it was on.Sunday evening we were joined by Sister-in-law Edith and her friend Steve for drinks on Petroc before we all went to eat at "The Narrow". This is the pub on the corner outside limehouse lock overlooking the river. Now owned by Gordon Ramsey we enjoyed a really excellent meal whilst we had a fantastic view all up and down the Thames. It was light when we arrived so we could see everything and later we enjoyed all the lights. A nightcap on Petroc before they caught the train on the DLR back.