Saturday, September 17, 2005
Thames Festival 2005
Today we biked to the Thames Festival. It's a really fun extravaganza that stretches all the way from Westminster Bridge to Butler's Wharf. But the real fun was cycling there and back.
We loaded up just one panier with Gem's food and other bits, strapped the pram on the rack, put Gem on the front of my bike, and we were off. She was a complete angel all the way, attracting adoring fans everywhere as usual. We did our usual route down through St John's Wood to Regents Park, across Marylebone Road to Marylebone High Street, then across Oxford Street to Mayfair. From there, we followed the marked London Cycle Network path to St James', down Bond Street, across Piccadilly, to Pall Mall, and eventually to Parliament Square....
... where we walked our bikes. Just too treacherous going across all those lanes of traffic trying to turn left. But we hopped back on at the bridge, where we met a retired couple on Bromptons who also thought the square was a nightmare.
We were pretty hungry at this point, so we stopped at the Bagel Street just behind County Hall for a BLTCC, and Gem wanted a bagel too, of course. We ate them on the lawn behind the London Eye, but they were really not that good. All the fault of the bacon, of course. We locked up there and then enjoyed the festival on foot. Gem went to sleep soon after, and snoozed almost all the way to Tower Bridge.
Before heading back, we had a wonderful couple of Souvlaki and chips at the Real Greek. Gem had claimed not to be hungry before that, but then she ate up half the bowl of chips!
Our ride home was just as nice as the ride there, except that we have yet to find an equally pleasant route between Mayfair and Regents Park heading north (various one-way streets always get in the way). And for a real treat to top off the day, we saw the changing of the guard at St James' Palace!