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It Happened to Me

London travel diary / Camera roll (Saturday, June 11, 2022)

Joey and Anitra on Blackfriars Bridge.
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For family, friends, and the curious, I’m posting some selections from my camera roll from last month’s trip to London.

Day 1

Our flight left Tampa on Friday evening, and we landed in London on Saturday morning, a little before 9:00 a.m. local time.

Upon deplaning, we saw a couple of Queen tributes. Here’s the first one..

Photo: Freddie Mercury pictured on the tail of a Norwegian Airlines jet.
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…and here’s the second:

Photo: Photos at Gatwick airport assembled to create two giant portraits of Queen Elizabeth II — one of her when she was crowned, and one of her today.
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We made the trip from Gatwick to London in pretty short order on the Gatwick Express, which ends at Victoria Station, and we took a cab to the hotel from there:

Photo: Main hall of Victoria Station.
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Auth0, my employer, put us up at the Sea Containers hotel, located right on the Thames’ south bank and just west of Blackfriars. Here’s the view from our hotel room.

Photo: The view from our hotel room, with 1 Blackfriars in the foreground.
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After a nice post-flight shower and change of clothes, we stepped out the hotel’s riverside doorway and took our first proper trip selfie…

Photo: Joey and Anitra posing by the Thames’ south bank, just outside Sea Containers hotel.
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…and then we worked our way east along the river…

View of the Thames from the south bank, just east of the Founder’s Arms pub.
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…then a tiny bit south…

Photo: Stonecutters Lane mural.
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…towards our goal, Flat Iron Square, for lunch.

The scene at Flat Iron Square, Southwark, London.
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It’s a fun, open-air beer garden with food stalls, tables aplenty, and a lively crowd. The South Bank seems to have no shortage of these places.

The scene at Flat Iron Square, Southwark, London.
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We got lunch from Lil’ Watan, who serve Lebanese food out of a shipping container…

Lil’ Watan’s colorful shipping container, labelled “From Beirut with Love.”
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…and drinks from the bar under one of the arches.

After lunch, we set off to explore the South Bank a little more. In my handful of trips to London, I’d stayed mostly on the north side of the Thames.

Southwark has a lot of railway bridges, and the locals have gotten pretty creative with the underpasses:

Anitra Pavka poses with against the wall of the Southwark Street tunnel in London’s Southbank.
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Joey deVilla poses with his blue accordion against the wall of the Southwark Street tunnel in London’s Southbank.
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Photo: Wall mural depicting swans.
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We passed by Crossbones Graveyard, and there were these great posters nearby:

Photo: “This is still the crossbones graveyard” poster depicting skull and crossbones with Union Jack background.
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And while we were in the area, I made sure to pass by this building on Redcross Street, which is known for its “Take Courage” ghost sign:

Photo: Brick building with “Take Courage” sign painted on its side.
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