Main purpose: see the south bank of the Thames
There was a long queue for tickets at Cambridge station around 09:50 but it only took about 5 minutes to get a ticket. I got a One-Day Travelcard again and a non-stop train to Kings Cross, arriving at about 10:45.
I tried to catch a Piccadilly Line train but even the platform was full and overspilling into the cross-tunnel corridors, so I went out of the barriers again (which would have wasted a £1.50 single-journey ticket) and to the Circle Line to Euston - very quiet. I detoured to have a walk around the surrounding streets: Euston Road, North Gower St., Euston Street, Melton St.) and back to Euston Square, past Railtrack House, inherited from its days as British Rail HQ. I spotted the Head of Steam on the far side (having failed to find it earlier). It's south-east of the station, through a low-profile door to the first floor of an office block.
I took a quiet Northern Line train to Waterloo and found the exit to the South Bank complex, passing the area designated as Waterloo International (for Channel Tunnel trains). The path led to a walkway across York Road (with the London IMAX in the distance - more of that later) and through the Shell Centre out to the South Bank.
|[Afterwards I looked on the Web site and discovered MOMI is closed for redevelopment till approximately 2003.]|
The Gabriel's Wharf area between Upper Ground and the Riverside Walk is now a fascinating collection of small shops, stalls and cafes. This time I passed by but I visited subsequently.
|[The Oxo Tower - London article describes the Coin Street community project.]|
<- Looking back towards the "Museum of" in the Barge House ...
... and then turning right towards the units and flats ->
Then I carried onwards across Blackfriars Road to the riverside walkway alongside
United News & Media (The Express).
Riverside Walk from this point downstream
to Southwark Bridge was being redeveloped but was partly usable.
Just before the Globe Theatre and Bankside Power Station (Tate Modern) there were two fascinating old houses (seventeenth century?). On the left is "Cardinals Wharf" and the right "Provost's House". [More detailed pics to follow.]
I saw that the extraordinary Millennium Bridge (Norman Foster/Anthony Caro) was progressing rapidly.
[The Financial Times offices are just downriver of the area and the FT
sponsored the Bridge's design competition.
I thought about going round Vinopolis but didn't feel ready for it - apparently it's quite lengthy. It costs £11.50 which includes wine samples.
|[On a subsequent trip I was in Stoney Street at the rear of Vinopolis and saw there were many related units such as an academic centre, giving me the impression it's reused former vintners warehouses, perhaps as an initiative of a vintners trade body.]|
I walked back alongside the river to the London Eye.
There were extraordinary numbers of lunchtime office joggers: approx. 12 per minute passing me,
about 95% heading downriver.
At the Eye there were very long queues now it was open, yet some capsules were empty.
|[The Eye's ticket sales are way ahead of forecasts - millionth visitor in April when 2.5M expected for the year. A similar story to the Tate Modern.]|
I went via the large subway near Waterloo Station to the
BFI London IMAX cinema and saw that Fantasia 2000
was on until the end of April, which was tempting (it's one of the few Disney films I like).