Brian gave me the morning off to make up for working all day on Sunday so I took Jim’s bike again and headed off at 8:00 into the hot and hazy morning. I rode over to the Embankment and turned left downstream to Tower Bridge. The traffic on the roads was really heavy but on a bike I could nip in and out of the rows of cars.
After I had crossed Tower Bridge the first place I stopped to explore was St Katherine’s Docks, one of the first of the old Thames docks to be re-built. What was once a seedy and atmospheric old shipping dock is now a haven for the yachts of the rich surrounded by sterile apartment buildings but it was quite picturesque so I took a few photos then moved on, parallel with the river through rows of renovated warehouses on cobbled streets.
After a mile or so I came across the Prospect of Whitby pub, the oldest riverside pub in London and the place where, in times long gone, sailors would go to look for work on the ships of the English Merchant Navy.
Another few miles brought me to the Isle of Dogs where the huge monstrosity of the Canary Wharf development is going on. I didn’t linger long amongst the noise and traffic there and left the towering cranes behind to go and find the river again. Eventually, after traipsing around a series of bland dead-end streets I found a park with the river on the opposite side of it. I stopped for a rest here and decided that this would be the furthest downstream I would go on this trip.
It took about 3/4 of an hour to get back to Tower Bridge as I explored some of the leafy backstreets of Wapping en route. I left the river at the Tower of London and pushed my bike up the hill to St. Paul’s and pottered about in that area for a while, gradually working my way back to Parliament Square and back to the pub via Lambeth Bridge.
The evening was very quiet.