London 2018 - Day Six
Thursday we had big plans: tickets for both the Tower Bridge and the Monument, and moving out of the AirBnB into a hotel room. The original purpose of the trip was Angela's invitation to speak at MozFest, and they put us up in a hotel room. We decided to go early to do our site seeing, and thus stayed in an AirBnB. So Thursday morning we packed up all our stuff , checked into the hotel, and then hit the road for our continuing adventures.
I've walked across the Tower Bridge several times, but had never been inside or gone up into the towers themselves. This was a particular treat for me, and Josie also really enjoyed it.
It was very educational to learn about the history of the bridge, its construction, and its evolution over time. Several bits of trivia I learned: the bridge was not bombed during World War II because it was used by pilots as a visual point of reference; and there are currently six people licensed to raise the bridge (also: it requires a license to raise the bridge!). We walked across the top of the bridge, and enjoyed the glass floors showing us the traffic and the river below. Then we walked through the old steam-powered engine room. It's all electrical now, but it was amazing to see the mechanism for raising and lowering the bascules.
After the bridge we went to the Monument, and climbed all 311 steps. At the top we enjoyed a nice view of London.
We connected with one of Angela's colleagues for dinner, and ended up at a pizza joint because every restaurant nearby was absolutely packed! Gluten free options were once again easy for Josie to obtain, and we had a pleasant enough meal. Good conversation, and a chance to relax after all the walking and stair climbing of the afternoon! We walked back across the Tower Bridge, and took plenty of photos of the lighted towers and support cables. We ended the day with a couple of drinks at the hotel bar.
The hotel room was serviceable enough, but it felt absolutely cramped in comparison to the flat we'd been enjoying. Thankfully, with the conference starting the next day we had little reason to spend any real amount of time in the hotel room.