Monday, 23 April 2012

London, Its Marathon and The Ol' City

After our hectic past few weeks of racing, we finally got a bit of a breather. So we decided to use this time to act like tourists for a bit!

We started with the obvious thing to do, and headed to the great city of London last Friday. I had only heard of the wonders hidden in the city, but my Dad had experienced much of London already - But that was in 1973. We were to run in to a very different London from then!

First off, was hop on the train from Colchester to Westminster Station, and about 45mins later, we walked out the station steps and straight onto Big Ben's feet! I was amazed at the real thing. The postcards and photos do nothing for the detail in the architecture back then, spanning the entire city's buildings from that period. After making it completely obvious that we were tourists by taking about a hundred photos in our first 10mins, we headed over the River Thames on foot to the London Eye (big ferris wheel). We got our tickets and joined the multi-cultural que of tourists to get onto one of the 32 pods on this 100m diamtere wheel.

The Lodnon Eye gives you an amazing view of commercial London, lifting you high above the CBD, you see the mix of beautiful old architecture and modern technology.Most of the buildings being from the 18th century but housing the worlds most advanced technology and web innovations - quite a sight to see! We came down from our 30min trip and took a walk around in the jungle of skyscrapers and castles.

We then found the London Bus tours and hopped on. This was money well spent! We left from the Lodnon Eye, and headed towards the famous London Bridge. This is when it dawned on me how much history is in the city - songs, nursery rhymes, sayings, artists, bands - this is the place where it all happened and spanned over the last few hundred years! We crossed the bridge and drove past one of the first castles built after one of the European conquerers took over the Thames. He built the catsle on the river because it was beileved whoever owned the river, owned the city, and boy did he build a castle! The massive building was an all luxury splurge by the conqueror, again hosting the incredible detail in the walls, pillars etc. that Big Ben has. Now, it is used as a museum and municiple building, the huge moat was drianed and is now a publis park! That's what you have to love about the city, the history is embraced and maintained.

Next was the drive to the business district past theatrecal London, passing historical theatre after theatre, and the famous St.Pauls cathedral - another astonishingly detailed and beautiful building. We then arrived at the business district after passing buildings such as the BBC and Barclays Bank being housed in original buildings from the 1700s! The first monument being the public viewing gardens for beheadings and hangings... It was the real deal from the medieval era.

After passing the city Dungeons, Jack The Rippers local hangout back in the day and many other awesome buildings and statues, we crossed over the Thames to return. Our day had just run away from us with so much to see, and now we've only scraped the tip of the ice-berg of histroy hidden in the city.

We returned on sunday for the London Marathon, meeting Eevie (my second mother growing up, Evelyn Neill) and Rab to support Rab's brother. We arrived to a sea of over excitied and enthusiastic people wanting to do the same for their runners! The place was buzzing! We watched the runners go by dressed up in all sorts of weird and wonderful costumes, including Rhinos, Supermen, Ballet dancers, South Africans..., Stigs and even a Storm Trooper!

We then had a nice South African Nando's supper and started our ridiculous trip home. This consisted of delays, rail closures and incidents and a whole lot of confusion. Anyway, nearly 5 hours later we got home! But nevertheless, a great weekend on the whole which has left us hungry for more London. I am starting to collect a list for when Roxanne arrives that will certainly stirr many 'ooh's and 'aah's!

We are now on our way to the north to Chester, where we are staying with Kathy and Keith, our family playing host to us while we practice at Oultan Park on wednesday. Our next race is at Oultan in a weeks time on 5-7 May for the long weekend.

...And my mom is arriving this week for a quick visit! It will be great to see her again and we're both looking forward to it!

Cheers for now, I will post more photos from our bus tour soon, and please don't forget to give our ads a few clicks;)

No comments:

Post a Comment