Sunday 21 October 2012
Highlights: 20 mile bike ride around London, Canals, Sunday market at Brick Lane.
Big day of bike riding today, and a very sore ass which made me remember why I wear lycra bike pants on long rides back home. I got up to overcast conditions which turned into drizzle when I walked out of the hotel.
The tour started from Gabriel’s Wharf at 9.30 am, the group was me, the guide and a German family of four. No rain at this point and our first stop was the Tate Modern Art Gallery which is free to enter. We then visited the actual site of Shakespeare’s Globe near the new one.
Onto London Bridge and then Tower Bridge as we got a good history lesson. At this point I had seen all these sights but now we went off the beaten path and riding around the Thames saw hidden inlets and canals. Amazing areas, so quiet and beautiful and only a few minutes from the hassle of the London I knew.
Riding upon the narrow paths on the canals was interesting, it would be easy to fall into the water, in fact a few people on this tour have done that! We then got up to the main games venues and my bike throw its chain, no big deal as the group noticed I ad disappeared. We couldn’t get into the venue but got a good view from the top floor of nearby Westfield Shopping Centre which was our lunch point.
After lunch we visited some poorer areas and in the middle of this was a great little park, Victoria Park, once again surprises everywhere in London you just have to know where to look.
We then visited Brick Lane in the Tower Hamlet area. This is the location of a large number of award winning curry houses not that I tried any. Luckily for us there was the Sunday Market with people everywhere selling everything you could want. They even had some recruiters for the Muslim religion!
I had to laugh when two girls were saying the place has “become to trendy” as they drank their coffees 🙂 This area used to be private land of the Truman Brewery which you can still see 60 years after they shut.
Our last major stop was St Paul’s Cathedral which is magnificent sight every time I see it. For the last 45 minutes we got some drizzle but overall I was very lucky with the weather. Returning to my hotel I found I had seen a lot that I never knew even existed.
Couldn’t even be bothered leaving the hotel so my dinner was finger food in the hotel lounge and booking some activities for Frankfurt, Buenos Aires and Cancun. I re-read the Antarctica plan and noticed the amount of long hiking days in Patagonia before leaving Antarctica, I don’t know how I missed that when I made the booking.