East Coast 2014

Thames Cruise


It was sunny this morning, so we decided to go on a river cruise to Greenwich and the Thames Barrier. The dock was across from the London Eye.

The skyline of London is varied and interesting.


A striking example of this is Wren's St. Paul's Cathedral of 1708 and the Millennium Bridge of 2000 in the same photo.


Another view




The Tower of London.


The Tower Bridge with the Shard tower in the rear..


A closeup of the bridge.


We stopped at Greenwich and saw the Old Royal Naval College buildings.


The buildings were laid out by Sir Christopher Wren on the site of the old Tudor Palace where Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were born.



The Old Royal Naval College started life as the Royal Hospital for Seamen and it was built to provide a retirement home for veteran sailors such as this one we found wandering around the Visitors Center.


Today, the site is home to the University of Greenwich. We didn't go up the hill to the Observatory since we had been there before.


After a short break at the Greenwich Market we again boarded a ship to go to the Thames Barrier.



We get closer to the barrier which protects the city of London from the tides which vary from low to high tide as much as 25 feet.



We are now alongside the barrier. Note the circular segments in the center.



The flood gates across the openings are circular segments in cross section, and they operate by rotating, raised to allow "underspill" to allow operators to control upstream levels and a complete 180 degree rotation for maintenance. All the gates are hollow and made of steel up to 40 millimetres (1.6 in) thick. The gates are filled with water when submerged and empty as they emerge from the river. The four large central gates are 20.1 metres (66 ft) high and weigh 3,700 tonnes each.



We walked back to the hotel along the Thames Embankment. Tomorrow we will go to the Museum of London and St. Paul's Cathedral