Travel Magazine

Rollin' On The River: The Thames Path!

By Joseph Harrison @JTAH_1990

London came back into my life just at the right time, the 'Thames Path' had not crossed my own since 2015! Why did we have to be such strangers? Madness! Taking the 'London Eye' in with those 'Houses of Parliament' in mind, the river had things running right! London's 'Vauxhall Bridge' already knew that I had clocked her towering steel and glass structures! Keep it moving! 

Rollin' On The River: The Thames Path!

With a few hours before that West End theater show, I wanted to cram as much as I possibly could into that sunny Saturday! After arriving into Euston Station just before nine in the morning, the 68 bus took me down to London's South Bank. Aligning me with the Thames Path was the right choice, London was doing all the right things! To be back alongside the timeless Thames River had me 'living my life in London!" I had to quote that 'RuPaul' lyric! The '' London Eye stood me right in front of me, never did I before that point realize how high those pods circled in air! No! Not being a fan of heights, in the moment I honestly couldn't fathom how I had coped being inside one of those pods? Well the view during that once 'British Airways' London Eye all those years ago sure looked amazing, remembering how bizarre and also terrifying it was to see London at a 360 degree view all in one glance! 2022 saw me return older but definitely wiser, no second chance would be given to that London Eye! No way! 

Those international tourists nor other domestic day-trippers hadn't yet surfaced, judging by the quieter walkways along the Thames Path. Walking away from the towering London Eye had me feeling all sentimental, did it really though? Not quite but I was so glad to be back in London once again, the drabness of the West Midlands gets me down unless I go to Birmingham. Being able to see the many bridges span across the river and the regal looking gardens along the riverside, well that gave me something new to feast my eyes upon. Having that city injection felt just right, London had saved me! From the London Eye to where next? Planning to walk westerly towards the Houses of Parliament had us brushing shoulders with a few tourist traps, no they weren't and will never again be for me! Those river cruise tourist touters tried to get me on a boat, no thank you very much! The Thames Path would remain free for me! The weather during that mid-morning hour served a few clouds but with a knock-out blue springtime sky! 

Rollin' On The River: The Thames Path!

Before reaching the Houses of Parliament, I brushed past St. Thomas's Hospital because I wanted to take a photo of the 'Mary Seacole' statue. Sure as I might, that formidable statue was found. Serving more fire than Florence could ever, I thought to myself that the NHS did the right thing by calling those 'field hospitals' after 'Ms. Nightingale' because they were a whole damn mess! Mary Seacole had to fight doubly hard for her right to practice medicine and as the proud pioneer of her own 'British Hotel' that she had set up during the 'Crimean War'. With a statue so strong, I could just imagine how much stronger a 'reserve hospital' with her name upon it would need to live up to her legacy! I'll be mentioning some more about Mary Secole soon, there's always something about London! The Thames Path had me fed, schooled and wanting to know more! I had half expected Elizabeth 'Big Ben' Tower to have been completely camouflaged behind a protective layer, thankfully the restoration works looked as if they had been finished. 

Gunpowder, treason and plot. I'm sure if Guy Fawkes had existed during the times of this modern Pandemic then he'd sure he setting off some fireworks for sure! As I gazed across the waters of the Thames River with those governmental headquarters in view, they've been plotting more than just parties in recent months. There was a part of me that held a great love for the building, it stood as a thousand years old but it looked ever the regal governmental building. I am sure those Americans who visit London, when they see London's Houses of Parliament, well I'm sure they wished the White House looked so characterful! London isn't bitter, its better! During my days out in London during 2o14 and 2015, why had I not ventured west to that point? Outstanding, I loved and lived for the views of the Houses of Parliament and the Elizabeth Tower, a true London icon! Guy, there's no need to blow Westminster up because what history would we have to showcase? London's Thames Path sure pulled out all the stops! Vauxhall, who?

Rollin' On The River: The Thames Path!

I had originally wanted to start this Thames Path walk from Battersea Power Station but with time of the essence, the final part of this morning segment concluded near Vauxhall Bridge. I loved the contrast between the historic bridge with the modern residential towers, they looked very luxurious, even from a distance! With Pimlico on the north side of the river and Vauxhall on the southern side, I had an idea that the Royal Vauxhall Tavern was located behind those towering structures. Neither Vauxhall or Battersea would cross my path during that morning but next time they will for sure! Behind me the embassy and university buildings looked very 'well-to-do' indeed with their period features and desired demographic in mind. Another part of the contrast as the period features overlooked the Vauxhall Riverside with its glass and futuristic style. Regardless, my morning along London's own Thames River gave me life no matter what the style of the buildings were! River Thames, you better not be such a stranger! Never again, L! 

Retracing those final few steps, the Millbank Millennium Pier gave me a glimpse of the Vauxhall Bridge at first but I wanted to get a little closer. I really liked that third and final part, that stretch of the riverside had a quiet nature with no commuters being the weekend and no tourists either. Having those snatched moments before boarding the bus back into the action allowed me to enjoy London with a killer view but without the hubbub and noise. From the London Eye, those heights had me remembering my one and only ride on that super-sized ferris-like wheel! Rule Britannia, the Houses of Parliament had me staring the British administration in the face! Whereas, the third and final segment showed me two sides of London in one sweeping view. Absolutely, Mary Seacole had my attention but like I have mentioned before, there's always another category for London! The Thames Path will be seeing me soon, come hell or high water, I will be back! The Thames served the South Bank, Westminster & Vauxhall all in one morning! 

My Thames Path Comeback! 

Joseph Harrison

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