9 March 2009

London contrasts and delights

A short walk back to the nearest tube station from a meeting near to St. Katherine's Dock reminded me of why I love walking around London so much.

St. Katherine's dock has long since given up on its industrial past and has become a pleasing jumble of cafes, bars, boats and wooden walkways.

In some ways in displays unfashionable yuppie traits of brashness and a love for ostentation over character but it has sufficient swagger to carry it off and its relatively small size means that the excess does not become excessive.

Emerging from the dock brings you suddenly to the manic congregation of roads leading to Tower Bridge. London has few bridges and each one draws roads to it hungrily and these squeeze desperate traffic through the pinch-points.

Bravely facing these roads, as if caring nothing for the tons of steel that flow like the tide relentlessly past it, stands a proud new office block.

The blaze of light makes sure that you've noticed its iron and glass majesty. The structure appears to have no purpose other than to be boastful, and that is all right as it has something to be boastful about.

The traffic is escaped by taking a pedestrian tunnel under Tower Bridge Approach and the world changes as much as if the journey had been made in the TARDIS.

What greets you on the other side is the Tower of London which can trace its history back to the 11th century and William the Conqueror.

The Tower stands tall, wide, strong and purposeful and provides an idyllic last view of London before heading underground into Tower Hill station and taking the tube home.

1 comment:

  1. I've been once to St K's Dock, so I know what you are describing. But this new building, as you say, contrasts completely with The Tower. They are both majestic in their own way.

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