Sunday, September 29, 2013
Cruise ports Dover and Harwich; Visiting the City of London and the Tower of London
On my last group of cruises, I managed to visit all three of the major cruise ports serving London. The largest of these, Southampton, I have written extensively about earlier. http://beyondships.com/Ports-Southampton-1.html It is a busy port and a great place to see cruise ships as well as to begin and/or end a cruise.
The other two ports are more quiet. Dover, located about 75 miles southeast of London, has berths for three cruise ships. However, the port is not always full. In addition, the ships tend to be smaller in size than the ships that frequent Southampton.
Still, Dover is a good port. It has two cruise terminal buildings. My ship left from the newer of these and I was processed through quickly both embarking and disembarking. Our profile of cruise port Dover is at http://www.beyondships3.com/dover-england-cruise-port.html
Harwich was a delightful surprise. I took a special boat train that left from London's Liverpool Street station. The train arrived at a station that is right next to the cruise terminal. I rolled my bags from one to the other and in perhaps five minutes, I was on the ship. What made this even more impressive was that this was a sizable ship. Our profile of cruise port Harwich is at http://www.beyondships3.com/harwich-england-cruise-port.html
Between these cruises, I spent some time in London. Usually I stay at one of the hotels in central London near Buckingham Palace. However, this time, I stayed at a hotel in London's traditional financial district, the City of London.
The City, as it is called, is where the Romans founded London and for centuries London was confined to the area within the Roman City Walls. It eventually outgrew these constraints but the area that lay within those walls evolved its own identity as well as its own laws and institutions.
Unlike the old quarters of many other European cities, the City of London is not a quaint district that time has passed by. Rather, over the centuries, it has adapted and changed to remain a vital part of greater London. Consequently,walking around the City, there are so many landmarks to see ranging from the Baroque splendor of St. Paul's Cathedral to the controversial London Gherkin skyscraper.
The people have also evolved. When I was at university in England, people who worked in the City still wore a bowler hat, a black jacket and gray and white striped trousers. Apparently, that uniform has been retired. I didn't see anyone wearing it. Instead, I saw lots of young people who I suppose work in the banks, trading houses, insurance companies and other businesses in the City, dressed like young office workers in New York or any other major financial center.
I enjoyed my walk around the City and so I have put together an article showing some of the sights that I saw during my stroll. http://www.beyondships3.com/city-of-london.html
Not far from my hotel was one of the most popular visitor attractions in London - - The Tower of London. Even though I had been there before, I had to return. There is so much to see in The Tower. It was a beautiful day that lent itself to photography. I have assembled my photos, the research that I have done about the Tower and my own observations made while visiting there to put together a feature article about visiting the Tower. It begins at http://www.beyondships3.com/tower-of-london.html