Skip to main content

London's Tower Bridge

During my all too brief visit to London in September 2014, I had set out to do a whirlwind tour of some of the big touristy sites in the city. The Tower Bridge wasn't initially planned to be one of the highlights of my time in London, although I knew I was going to see it because I had planned on spending time at the nearby Tower of London. While touring around the Tower of London was definitely worth the high price of admission, after walking around the historic fortress and palace, I had little interest in waiting on a long line to see Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's crown jewels, so I opted to check out one of the crown jewels of the world of bridges.

While crossing over the River Thames by foot on the Tower Bridge, I discovered that there is a museum and exhibition inside the bridge's towers and the high level observation decks, so I had to check it out. While you visit the museum, you can watch a video about the bridge's design and construction, its opening over 120 years ago, visit an exhibit the observation deck and even visit the engine room. I certainly enjoyed learning about the ins and outs of the Tower Bridge, along with seeing the bridge both inside and out.

View of the Tower Bridge
The Thames has a fair amount of river traffic around the bridge.

The Tower Bridge as seen from the Tower of London. Despite the grand Victorian era design of the Tower Bridge's towers, the bridge is actually named after the Tower of London.

A little closer side view of the center towers and observation deck.


The Tower Bridge is open to both vehicles and foot traffic.

The Tower Bridge is also one of the more detailed bridges that I've visited.

A view of the Thames from the observation deck.

Standing underneath the observation deck of the bridge.

A view of part of London's skyline from the bridge.



Some views inside the bridge's engine room. The bridge was once operated by steam as the bridge's bascule lift was opened and closed. The power source of the bridge was converted to electricity in 1976. It takes about 1 minute and 15 seconds to open or close the lift.







Sources and Links
Tower Bridge Exhibition - Bridge History
Elite Travel Blog - How Long Does Tower Bridge Take To Open and Close?
Londontopia.net - Tower Bridge: 10 Facts and Figures About London's Tower Bridge You Probably Didn't Know
Tower Bridge Exhibition - Tower Bridge Engine Rooms
Flickr - Doug Kerr's Flickr Gallery on the Tower Bridge 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Horseshoe Meadows Road; former California State Route 190 and the legacy of the Lone Pine-Porterville HIgh Sierra Road

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Horseshoe Meadows Road from Whitney Portal Road westward into Horseshoe Meadows of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Horseshoe Meadows Road was once part of California State Route 190 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway known as the Lone Pine-Porterville High Sierra Road.


Horseshoe Meadows Road is located west of Lone Pine of Inyo County and is 19.7 miles in length.  Horseshoe Meadows Road begins at an approximate elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level at Whitney Portal Road in the Alabama Hills and ends at an elevation of 10,072 feet above sea level in Horseshoe Meadows.  Horseshoe Meadows Road is the second highest paved road in California only behind Rock Creek Road near Tom's Place.  Pjammcycling rates Horseshoe Meadows Road with an average gradient of 6.2% and lists it as th…

History of the Big Oak Flat Road (Yosemite National Park)

This week I hiked much of what was the original alignment of the Big Oak Flat Road which is located to the north of the modern roadway.  Unlike the original alignment of the Wawona Road the Old Big Oak Flat Road is surprisingly intact.


The complete history of the Big Oak Flat Road including the original alignment can be found on a 2002 report from the U.S. Department of Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road.

U.S. Department of the Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road

The Big Oak Flat Road began construction east from the mining community of Big Oak Flat in towards Yosemite Valley in 1869.  The Big Oak Flat Road was constructed by the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company which had secured the franchise rights for a toll road to the Yosemite Grant (the designation prior to Yosemite National Park).  By the summer of 1871 the Big Oak Flat Road reached the northern cliffs above Yosemite Valley which is when the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company ran out of funding.  After the…

The Tioga Pass Road

Last Summer the Tioga Pass Road over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Yosemite National Park opened late due to the heavy snow pack from the previous winter.  Approaching the start of July the Park Service finally had cleared the road to Tioga Pass.  That being the case I headed up shortly after the 4th of July holiday during a lull in the tourist season.


The Tioga Pass Road runs from the Big Oak Flat Road at Crane Flat east to US Route 395 ("US 395").  The Tioga Pass Road is largely within the boundary of Yosemite National Park but is maintained by Caltrans as California State Route 120 ("CA 120") east of the Tioga Pass entry station to US 395.  The National Park Service maintained portion of the Tioga Pass Road serve as a implied connection between the two segments of CA 120.  The Tioga Pass Road is the highway mountain pass in California reaching Tioga Pass at 9,945 feet above sea level.



Part 1; the history of the Tioga Pass Road

Tioga Pass first obtained notewort…