The South Bank of the Thames is a strange mix of places. County Hall and the Royal Festival Hall are alongside boat piers and railway tracks. The area has progressively developed and become more popular although there was a time when it was a pretty dodgy area. One strange place still there is a section of covered concrete that has become a popular haunt for skaters. The area looks intimidating enough but it has been heavily decorated with graffiti and it looks like something that you would enter in a movie with the audience shouting not to go in.
Actually, the area is quite busy and the skaters are only interested in skating. The fact that they haven’t been driven away but have, instead, been embraced is a pretty cool thing I think. The art on the walls obviously involved a lot of effort. While it may look like something to avoid, I would certainly take a look if you get the chance.
London is full of iconic landmarks but possibly the most famous one is Tower Bridge – even if not everyone knows what it is really called. When taking a walk along the South Bank, it would be rude not to head to the bridge to see it in the evening light. The area also includes the London Assembly building which looks like a giant egg. The comparison with the modern architecture and the gothic style of the bridge is pretty interesting. I have never managed to get a shot of the bridge when it is open and this trip was no exception. If you want to do so, they do publish the opening times in the paper so you can make an effort to be there.
Our time by the bridge was just before we went up the Shard so we had a chance to get a different perspective on the bridge from above a little while later.
I had in mind to make a post about the London Eye a while back. This was going to be based on some old pictures I had taken when we lived and worked in London. Since then, we made a trip to the UK and ended up staying very close to the attraction. I remember when they were initially building it. The whole structure was laid out flat on the river and, only when it was complete, did they winch it up into the vertical position.
It was a huge hit when it opened and it remains so today. The opening of The Shard has provided a new location for people to get an elevated view of London but this hasn’t stopped the visitors lining up. While we were visiting, England was preparing for the start of the Rugby World Cup and the pods on the Eye had the flags of the competing nations applied to the undersides. This added some color to the structure.
Shortly before we left London, I headed out early in the morning to get some shots of the Eye. It was interesting to see the different shapes it offers depending on where you view it from. It wasn’t in use at the time so things were being readied for the day with some of the mechanisms being tested and the pods were stationery. I didn’t get a chance to shoot it at night which was a shame but that wasn’t why I was there. However, it was nice to see it again and to see that it is going strong, long after its original out of service date has passed. I hope it will remain a feature for a long time to come.