Europe 1999 🇮🇹🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿


Tower Bridge does the traditional thing.

We set out once more to explore central London. This time the first stop was Soho, because we wanted to sample the wares at a market, and the Berwick Street Market seemed as good a place as any. After inspecting and purchasing some of London’s finest fresh fruit and vegetables, we carried on to Chinatown, and found the famed Lee Ho Fook’s, as mentioned in the song "Werewolves Of London". They have obviously realised that the connection might be worth some serious money to them, because a picture of Warren Zevon and a sign with the words on it can be found in the window.

From there we strolled on to Leicester Square, for a look around at some of the buskers. I was due to meet yet another net.friend, Catherine, at Euston Station at 12:30, so we hopped onto the tube and spent a few minutes in the gigantic hall out the front waiting for her, watching the arrival and departure boards flicking over. She turned up with her entire family in tow, all the way from Stoke-on-Trent, and while a couple of them merrily trotted off to explore London for the afternoon, the rest of us went and had some tea and/or lunch in the food court.

We’d decided to head for Tower Bridge, and it seemed that the Circle Line would be our best bet, so we strolled down to Euston Square tube station. The train got as far as Aldgate when the driver came on the PA and announced, with repeated use of the word "unfortunate", that the train wouldn’t be going any further.

Aldgate was only one stop away from the Tower anyway, so we left the world of disrupted tube services behind and stepped out into the sunshine. A quick inspection of the map revealed that provided we didn’t get lost, it was only a short(ish) walk to the bridge. We didn’t get lost, and before we knew it, found ourselves moseying over Tower Bridge.

Then we went down and walked along the river next to the Tower Of London. To my utter surprise, because it’s only meant to happen in movies these days, the bridge opened to let a tall sail boat through.

Then we said our farewells to Catherine and family, and headed up to Tower Bridge tube station and boarded a train bound for Earl’s Court. Ah, Earl’s Court, supposedly London’s Australian quarter, though apart from the occasional Australian-themed pub, you couldn’t really tell. We had a walk around, and started looking for something to eat.

We settled on an unimaginative choice, primarily because the kids wanted it: McDonalds. I found a table and L got the order. At first I asked for a McFeast, then we realised they didn’t have them. Hmmm. Despite being Earl’s Court, they probably wouldn’t have a McOz either. I settled on a Big MadMacCow burger instead, and afterwards we got back on the tube and headed for Hew’s house via Victoria, where we encountered the same beggar as the day before, still using the same pathetic "I’m sorry to bother you sir" line… then he looked into my eyes and realised he’d tried it with me already and walked away with some speed.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.