You can be so used to seeing something that it becomes quite ordinary and you forget to notice how special it is. Bits of furniture, your neighbourhood, your car, your wife. Sometimes if you see something every day it blends into the background.
This however is not the case with the mighty Tower Bridge in London. Every time I walk over it, sail under it or see it from afar it still fills me with joy despite viewing it hundreds of times over 15 years. I’d never see it at at sunrise though so Kristina and I went for a very early morning viewing the other day.
Check out the video we made and I apologise in advance for my horrendous morning face. You have been warned!
Tower Bridge is really well designed because it needs to be. When it first opened to the public in 1894 this part of the River Thames was a busy port area with many tall ships bringing exotic goods into the heart of London. This meant any new bridge built here would still need to let these ships pass through, hence the two towers with the opening section of bridge in between.
The look is completed by the walkways between the towers, the idea being people could still walk up the stairs in one tower across and down the other side to avoid waiting for the bridge to fully open and close for river traffic.
No one accounted for the fact the bridge connected the posh bit of London to the north side with the Victorian slums on the south and the walkways soon filled up with undesirables. It became hard to use the walkways without being pick pocketed or accosted by prostitutes and they eventually closed in the early 1900’s.
Today you can catch the view from the walk ways and visit the old engine rooms by paying the £9 entry fee to the Tower Bridge exhibition.
If you don’t fancy that you could just walk over and under the bridge like we did. Also check http://www.towerbridge.org.uk/lift-times/ to see when the bridge will open up for river traffic.