Friday, 16 September 2016

London

Continuing with my meander around London, capital city extraordinaire, and following on from a previous post about The Savoy hotel in London, here are a few more thoughts, views, tales from the city.

Mix and mingle with famous statesmen
London is, without doubt, full of interesting and surprising places, events, people. Who'd have expected you'd see FDR and Churchill sitting together on a street bench sharing a joke. You can even sit with them and join in the conversation.

The London skyline has changed a lot since I grew up there. The dome of St. Paul's Cathedral dominated some 40+ years ago. Now it is surrounded by new buildings, the skyscrapers of the City of London with its banking and financial offices. It looks quite different now, but that dome still hangs in there, looking as classy as ever even though it vies for space with the angular high rises, the "Cheesegrater" and the "Gherkin". I wonder what architect Sir Christopher Wren would think about those newcomers who have invaded the space around his masterpiece?

Skyline with St. Paul's dome  
The London cab passing by over Waterloo Bridge, where this shot was taken from, is one of the modern silver ones; there are still plenty of black cabs around though. Cabbies are not happy about the upsurge of Uber because they have to have "The Knowledge" - an intense and detailed knowing of where they are in the capital city without recourse to a sat nav, something that takes years to acquire, and I think they may have to be examined on this before they're fully fledged cab drivers. 


Here you can see a black cab, further along the same bridge. Behind it are more modern high rise buildings, but between them there is a glimpse of "The Shard", now the highest. It sways in the wind and costs a small fortune to go to the top for the views, but I gather it's worth it. Just below the construction crane the old Oxo tower, once regarded as a tall building, is visible. It now houses a well-rated restaurant.

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