Filipinos were taught to sing London Bridge is Falling Down at a very young age. British people might not know that but it’s true! They may even ask ‘why on earth are you singing that nursery rhyme?’ Good question.We might probably have an answer to that. You have to understand that the mid-eighteenth century version of the rhyme which became particularly popular in Great Britain also became particularly popular in the United States. Yes. That was it.
So why am I talking about London Bridge while the photo shown above is of the Tower Bridge? Well you see many of our people here in the Philippines have mistakenly identified the Tower Bridge as London Bridge (see photo shown below). There are few reasons why. Whenever London is introduced in the movies, almost every time, the Tower Bridge is always on the scene. We see postcards which say ‘London’ and then feature the Bridge on it. Travel shows and magazines also do the same. It is the famous bridge in London, therefore it is the London Bridge.
Anyway, let me now begin my travelogue. After staying overnight at a British-Filipino home in Greenwich, the British husband, a good friend of mine gave me a ride to the nearest corner towards London Bridge. And from there I walked my way towards the Tower Bridge. It is one of those spots in London that I eagerly looked forward to see. Because ever since I was a young lad I have been continually fascinated by bridges. And the Tower Bridge was indeed a spectacular attraction with its dramatic silhouette.
The Bridge is now over 120 years old since it opened in 1894. Its purpose was to provide additional road accessibility while keeping the Thames River passable as well. It also featured bridge lifts powered by a steam engine. The construction took eight years. The Bridge was a Victorian engineering achievement.
The official website’s history page commented:
Built with giant moveable roadways that lift up for passing ships, it is to this day considered an engineering marvel and beyond being one of London’s favourite icons, it is arguably one of the most famous and instantly recognisable structures in the entire world.
I leisurely took my time taking photographs of it from different angles. It was a bit sad to learn that the exhibit was closed for maintenance that day. Of all the days they picked mine! After crossing the bridge, I also enjoyed the irresistible-looking sundae being served at the other end. The refreshing ice scream station completed the Tower Bridge experience.
Postscript: If you already visited the place or you regularly cross it you would exactly understand what I’m talking about. That is, if the ice cream station is still there.
Please visit the Tower Bridge official website. Watch the Engineering Tours at Tower Bridge video below.
- Header Photo: Tower Bridge in Morning Silhouette
- Multiple Photos: Views of the Tower Bridge
All photos courtesy of © Guwaphotos