Mar 30, 2011

London Bridge is falling down

Well okay, not really anymore.  But it was falling down some 50 or so years ago.  The previous London Bridge is currently standing in Lake Havasu, Arizona, which I've been to a couple of times.  It was sold to a man in the United States in 1968 for a little over 2 million dollars and rebuilt in Havasu by 1971.  The current London Bridge opened in 1973.  So to clarify, there is a London Bridge in London and a London Bridge in Havasu, and I've now been to both.  If you're confused...Wikipedia it!

Now that we're all up to date on our London Bridge history, I'll get to the really fun stuff that the Fairman siblings did in London on day number two.  We got up fairly early on Monday morning and enjoyed a large buffet style breakfast at the hotel.  We discussed our game plan for the day and decided our first stop would be Tower Bridge. 

To me, Tower Bridge looks like a toy bridge.  Don't get me wrong, the bridge is huge, massive in fact.  You can't really miss it.  But it's painted light blue, white, and red and to me it looks a little out of place in the very historic and old city of London.  Plus, the London Bridge, which everyone has heard of, can be seen from Tower Bridge and it is a little underwhelming in comparison. 
After looking at the bridge from a distance, we decided to do the Tower Bridge Experience and go up in the two towers for a tour.  The tour was surprisingly interesting.  None of us are at all like our Dad in that we don't spend hour upon hour looking and reading all of the different signs and boards in a museum.  For example, he spent 7 HOURS at the British National Museum when my Mom and him were here in November.  7 HOURS!!!  Poor Mama.

It takes a lot to hold our attention, but they had a display of all of the world's most famous bridges which included both the Brooklyn Bridge and San Francisco Bridge among many others.  There were about 20-25 bridges in total.  Wouldn't it be cool to visit them all?!?  The bridge lifts about 1000 times a year for boats to go under.  I wish we could have seen that, but unfortunately there was no lifting happening last Monday.  Maybe when I go again with the hubby (hint hint) we can watch the bridge lift. :)  The tour also took you down under one of the towers to the steam room to show you the mechanics of how it lifts.  Pretty cool.

At the top of Tower Bridge
Anna has this issue with keeping her eyes open during pictures.
By the time we got to the top of the Tower Bridge, the sun was beginning to come out and it turned into the most beautiful London day.  The views were spectacular.
Views from the Tower Bridge
The Gherkin.  One of London's skyscrapers.
Anna gets left out of this because she can't keep her eyes open.
  Next we headed down to the steam room under one of the towers to check out all the equipment used to lift the bridge.  There was also a display of different stunts that have been done on the bridge.  For instance, one man has jumped it on his motorcycle while another jumped a bus.  Pretty crazy stuff.

And as if we hadn't taken enough pictures of the Tower Bridge, when we finally got down to the other side of the River Thames, we took a few more.

There was also a great view of the Tower of London which is Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress built in 1078 by William the Conqueror.  It has been used as both a prison and a place of residence and in earlier years, controlling it meant controlling the country.  We didn't pay to go in, but if I get to go back with Josh, going there will be on my list of things to do.

Tower of London
We then walked down the river to the London Bridge.  As I said earlier, it really isn't nearly as impressive as the Tower Bridge, but at one point, it was the only bridge crossing over the River Thames until 1750.  It is still cool to say we've been there none the less.

Our second day in London had started out strong with two awesome bridges before lunch time.  Next up is the second half of our day with some other famous sites.  Check back soon for more London fun!

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