The London Log pt 3 – Contrasts, cloudy beer and a (once) wobbly bridge

Tuesday – as already mentioned was wet – it rained pretty much all day, and whilst it was good to relax after a a couple of days out and about – and get the blog started, it still felt like a day lost. I felt like pacing up and down, but given Patsy’s internal dimensions I  would have soon worn the carpet out!

Wednesday was dull and overcast, but at least dry – more or less – as we headed out again, first to Dulwich Village. You could be forgiven for thinking you are in the middle of the countryside here, rather than just a few miles from the noise and vibe of central London. Leafy tree lined avenues, a pretty high street, smart elegant houses and a number of independent schools surrounding tell you there’s some serious wealth around here. There’s also a museum and the Dulwich Picture Gallery is worth a visit if art is your thing.

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Another bus brought us to Brixton and Electric Avenue, home of it’s famous street market. The difference, from genteel Dulwich couldn’t be more stark, although the market wasn’t as lively or as big as I had expected. Lots of bright colours, sounds and smells and it certainly felt much more ‘alive’ than sleepy Dulwich but perhaps not quite as comfortable, although Brixton has changed vastly since the riots of the early eighties.

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Southwark and the Millennium bridge was meant to be the next port of call but the arrival of a rain cloud brought about a slight postponement, so we ended up going across Blackfriars Bridge and paused in Holborn for a tasty hot dog and a cheap but cloudy pint at a handily placed hostelry – i.e. by the bus stop.

The rain conveniently ceased whilst we indulged and we were soon on the bus and back across the Thames by the Millennium Bridge. The footbridge gained notoriety when it opened for being rather too wobbly. A design feature, we were told at the time although it was soon firmed up after people complained of needing sea sickness pills to cross it!

It spans the Thames between the Tate Modern gallery – housed in an old power station on the south bank – and the rather more photogenic St Pauls Cathedral on the north side. We walked across, pausing to play with the new camera at various points and both wishing we’d brought coats, the muddy waters of the Thames below cooling the winds to almost arctic temperatures.

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Ludgate Hill provided more opportunity for lens clicking, then caffeine levels were restored before heading up, for the second time this week to Camden Town.

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I had vague plans to buy some new jeans – black & leather, obviously – and Camden seemed the obvious choice. It was quieter than before  and we perused the shops and markets for a while but still came away empty handed. The camera came out again though to capture some of the shop facades.

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Our final stop of the day, after changing buses in the returning rain at Trafalgar Square, was Gipsy Hill. Some er, research was in order but with no real ale on offer at the first pub we moved on. The second pub restored our faith in humanity, before getting the bus up the hill back to Crystal Palace for another pint and food. Credit where it’s due too – Westow House does good pub grub, but eight, yes, eight real ales on offer certainly warrants a mention. 

Well, this was supposed to be the last part, but look out for the final part of our London trip heading your way real soon, where we finally get to the building site and  see an ‘orse!

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