Friday, April 14, 2017

Tall Ships Festival - Easter 2017

Happy Good Friday to you all.  Today, something different for you (don't worry, I aim to go to Kew tomorrow!)

I saw on the news a few days ago that the Tall Ships Festival was taking place at Greenwich and Woolwich Arsenal in London, before they set sail on Easter Sunday for a race from Torbay, Portugal, the Canary Islands, Bermuda, Quebec and back to Le Havre... it's a regular event and attracts Tall Ships from all over the world.

I headed for Woolwich Arsenal first, with the opportunity to board some of the ships free (from Greenwich, you have to pay to get a ferry out to one of the ships in the middle of the Thames)
 once I got to Woolwich Arsenal, I followed the signs and the start of the crowds (I was still relatively early)
 past the 16 cast iron figures, sculpted by Paul Burke
to the pier, where a sight awaited me - several of the nearly 30 ships that will sail the race, lined up
lots of activity getting ready for the start of the race (or at least the journey on Sunday down to Devon!)
 on board the first ship, drawn to the shapes of the weights....

and the ropes hanging tidily
 it was a very grey morning (luckily any rain held off)
so I had exposure problems!

 and it would be fabulous to see the ships in full sail, however, the rigging alone is gorgeous.
 this is the ship of the Sea Cadets, an organisation that helps youngsters experience life at sea

 I climbed aboard...

 flushing loos and running showers... not bad!
bunks look a bit cramped though!
think I'd prefer a 5 star cruise, personally!

Now I decided to head for Greenwich.. time to catch the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) - I love this train - better than a tube train as it runs overground, and you get great views all through the  London docklands where so much regeneration has gone on in the last 20 or so (probably longer, actually) years.

great views up rive towards the City from Woolwich as I depart..
on the DLR you pass under the Emirates cable car (I went on this once, it was a great way to see this part of London from above)
Changed at Canary Wharf station - love all the glass and steel

and the huge skyscrapers of London's financial district outside - I must go and mooch around outside again one day
 Greenwich - home of the Cutty Sark, now safely restored (and recovered from the near disastrous fire in 2007 during it's restoration)
and in dry dock - used to love going on board here as a kid - but no time today!

 the Tall Ships Festival had laid on lots more interesting things to see at Greenwich as well,
I am guessing this is a ship's wheel in progress!

Statue of Sir Walter Raleigh one time favourite of Elizabeth I

I sat and had lunch in the food court... was warm now and I took my coat off for a bit...
 after lunch I explored along the river - some of the Tall Ships here are sailing up and down, so there are less moored to look at and not at close hand - guess the tideway makes it impossible here

 but they had certainly brought the crowds out..
 you can see it was low tide, lots of people down on the "beach"

 Greenwich is beautiful - the Old Royal Naval College is just stunning - now the University of Greenwich - what a wonderful place to be a student!

I got a bit carried away...
 "normal" lens...
 wide angles..

 close ups with the long zoom...

 love the stonework
 and the lights
ships still coming and going..
 and the pillars

 waited patiently for a "no people" shot...

trees lining the path adjacent to the food court area (on the left)

Decided to head back tothe DLR station via Greenwich market....
 which was heaving....
 I beat a hasty retreat.... because I was headed for...
 the Tower!

I did go in ( a long snaking queuing system should have warned me off...)
and this crowd round a Yeoman Warder at the start of one of the fabulous guided tours was also a foretaste

I guess it is Easter bank holiday weekend after all, and the start of tourist time
(although it's always tourist time in London really)
 so a quick walk round (long queues to get in to any of the Towers and exhibits so I didn't bother)

 part of the oldest bits of wall

 and a reminder of when wild animals used to be kept in the moat (a long time ago!)

not sure I've ever noticed the elephant before

 Tower Bridge

 the Shard
 always loved this fountain by Tower Bridge outside one of the swanky hotels
 and the sun kindly shone on the water droplets for me!
 wandered into St Katherine's dock just nearby, always loved it here...

great reflections

didn't partake of a glass of Prosecco at £7.50 a glass thanks very much!

 the Gloriana, royal barge from the Jubilee festivities a few years ago, still moored here...
 these enamel panels always attract me (by Dale Devereaux Barker)
 I just love all the shapes and colours and effects (it appeals to the crafter in me!)

 a last view of the Bridge,,
 and back past the Tower towards the tube and then the train home...

I did stop at a cafe to grab a cake for a bit of energy - a most beautiful banoffee muffin...
just what I needed to get me home

Hope you enjoyed today - see you tomorrow for Kew!!


Miriam said...

It looks like you had a fabulous day Helen...Perfect way to spend the bank holiday. Your pictures are fabulous!

Kirsten said...

Wonderful photos, you crammed in a lot!!

Lin said...

Great piccies helen as always xx

craftimamma said...

Another wonderful tour courtesy of your camera and poor aching feet. Thanks Helen.

Lesley Xx

Claire said...

Wow you certainly packed a lot in today! Looks like you had a fab day and I love all your photos :-)

Angela Curror said...

Wow! Fabulous tour - thank you for sharing it with us.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I got to see the Tall Ships in New York harbor one year. It was a sight to behold, and you have brought that excitement back with your post.

Those iron sculptures are incredible. I've never seen anything like them before.

I was impressed by how spacious the toilets were. The cabin looked nearly typical to the ones I remember, though. Even the riggings looked lovely in your photos.

I remember seeing the Gloriana from TV several years ago with the Queen in it. It still looks well kept.

I really enjoyed this trip to London. Lucky you to live close enough to visit there and see in person things I've only seen on TV or through your lens.

jojo79 said...

Looks like you had a lovley day Helen. Great pictures


Linda said...

What a fab day out! All of your photos are lovely! Love those tall ships, we saw them at Portsmouth once. We went up the Shard recently and had lunch, luckily it was a gorgeous sunny day and the views were stunning! And then we walked past the Tower up to Tower Bridge. Can't wait to see more from Kew, I bet it is lovely this time of year. Thanks for commenting on my blog! X

sam21ski said...

Oh wow, you've got some great photos there and all for free. Great when you can still find interesting things that are free these days. Love the colours and patterns in those shapes and patterns too. Hope you have a good day tomorrow too and the weather is kind to you xxx