HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Entry for July 11, 2007 – Steamboat!

Posted by HelenEdith on July 11, 2007

I spent today up in town. I enjoyed my day a lot, including the “after work” bit where I got my camera out. Having checked the Tower Bridge lift schedule and found that a historic steamer, Balmoral, was going to be in port for one of her London visits during her summer itinerary, I’d decided to cart the camera up to town. I missed seeing Balmoral arrive, but she was supposed to leave again within half an hour, so I found myself a spot and waited. And waited. And waited.

Just as I was thinking of giving up in disgust and going home, the klaxons on Tower Bridge went off, and I knew that things were going to happen. I told the tourists near by to watch, and Balmoral came steaming towards Tower Bridge, but nothing was happening! Then just at the last moment, up went the bascules just far enough to allow her two masts through and through she went! That bridgemaster has it down to a fine art: the bridge is never open for any longer than it needs to be!

Today’s picture doesn’t have Tower Bridge in it, but it does show Balmoral against the backdrop of the changing London skyline: from the left, the green glass building is Plantation Place in Fenchurch Street; the tall tower is Tower 42, the tallest building in the City of London, and also the oldest tall building; then come the gothic gables of Minster Court, with the tower section of the brand-new Willis Building behind, and just a little of the Aviva Building peeping from behind the right side; and then at the right, the unmistakable shape of the Swiss Re Building, more commonly known simply as The Gherkin.

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