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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Tower Bridge versus London Bridge

Bet you know this nursery song that's as old as time, "London Bridge is Falling Down". In fact, I remember playing this with my cousins when we younger where two people would form an arch by linking their arms together and the others would go under the "bridge". We'd sing this nursery rhyme and when the song ends, we'd drop our arms and collapse on the person under the "bridge", capturing him/her.

I wonder if it's a game only played in Singapore or all over the world?

Now that I've grown, I wonder why this nursery song became so famous.
Imagine kids from the other end of the world singing stuff like Singapore's Merlion is vomiting. Oh my.

But anyway, I did a little bit of researching and this song is really talking about the depredation of the London Bridge.

London Bridge was originally the only crossing for the Thames. The first bridge was probably built by the Romans for conquest purposes and over time, went through destruction and repair several times. This probably explains the song.

The current London Bridge was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 17 March 1973.

Presenting to you, the famous London Bridge.




To be honest, the very first time I set foot on London Bridge, I was like, this is it?


Yup, this is it.


Nearest underground Stations:
Monument & London Bridge

But what you really ought to be looking out for as a tourist in London should be the Tower Bridge.

Here's what it looks like.




The Tower Bridge came about as London grew, the East End of London became so densely populated that the problem of heavy traffic could no longer be delayed anymore.

It took 8 years, 5 major contractors and the relentless labour of 432 construction workers to complete the Tower Bridge.

When it was built, Tower Bridge was the largest and most sophisticated bascule bridge ever completed ("bascule" comes from the French for "see-saw").

These bascules were operated by hydraulics, using steam to power the enormous pumping engines. The energy created was stored in six massive accumulators, as soon as power was required to lift the Bridge, it was always readily available.
The accumulators fed the driving engines, which drove the bascules up and down. Despite the complexity of the system, the bascules only took about a minute to raise to their maximum angle of 86 degrees.

 Today, the bascules are still operated by hydraulic power, but since 1976 they have been driven by oil and electricity rather than steam. The original pumping engines, accumulators and boilers are now exhibits within the Tower Bridge Exhibition.
(Information courtesy of http://www.towerbridge.org.uk)

Tower Bridge (built 1886 - 1894), officially opened on 30 June 1894 by The Prince of Wales and his wife, The Princess of Wales, has thus become an iconic symbol of London, close to the Tower of London, hence it's given name.

Nearest underground Stations:
Tower Hill on the District & Circle lines





Random: DO NOT PURCHASE SAMSUNG S5. Unless you want pictures where you can barely see the what's in the background and a blurry you. *rage*







A closer look at the Bridge.



June's weather in London was amazing. Slightly chilly at night but perfect in the day. A cardigan did just fine. :)




Ready, Get Set....

And....


SUPER MARIO JUMP!



Pictures taken while on the Bridge.

Lovely architecture, don't you think?

So if you happen to be in London for the first time, do note that the bridge you're looking out for is probably the Tower Bridge, not the London Bridge, though the latter is about a 15 - 20 minutes walk away.

What you can do is to visit the Borough Market and walk over to London Bridge. (read about my Borough Market experience here http://esthan.blogspot.sg/2014/08/borough-market-londons-most-renowned.html)

Then walk over to the Tower Bridge to help digest a little from all the food from Borough Market.

That only took about half a day altogether, we still had time to catch a musical in the evening!
Read about my Matilda - The Musical experience here.
http://esthan.blogspot.sg/2014/06/matilda-musical-on-covent-garden.html


Signing off with a shot of my friend and I trying to be goofy. There were these art sculptures along the way and we just couldn't resist having some fun.

Oh, I love London!