A New City And Bikes

London Travel Blog

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Ste wiping the remains of a pasty off of his face
So I've arrived.  The nation's capital is a place I never really wanted to live when I was younger, but something about walking around on business trips began to sway me.  There's a vibrancy and multiculturalism about the place which is fascinating and something I'm looking to explore in much greater depth.  And, of course, continental and World events happen.  Like...

Le Tour de France
Here's Ste (photo).  He loves bikes in a way that other people might like chocolate. Bicycles are a passion to be indulged where appropriate and to have the premier bike race in the World begin in London was an opportunity not to be missed.
Gendarmes in England - apparently the road was French soil for the day.
  So, we claimed a bit of a barrier next to Hyde Park early on, cracked open a few bottles of wine and waited for the prologue to start.  Some things I didn't know:

1. The race sponsors drive around the circuit an hour or so before the race starts throwing freebies to the crowd.  To me, this was slightly dangerous due to the range of plastic items strewn all over the road.  Surely, these represent a hazard to the riders?

2. The race track is under the jurisdiction of the French authorities for the race.  That is why armed gendarmes were posing left, right and centre. 

3. The bikes make a faintly eerie fizzing noise as they pass - sort of spaceship-like.

Matt also arrived later, but was bored by the whole thing: "So a bloke goes by every two minutes on a bike.  Great."  I, on  the other hand, found it all much fun, although that could have been the drink.
Walking home across the Albert Bridge
  I did sort of expect them to be going a bit faster though.

Ambling Home
I'm also lucky as I live about 45 minutes walk from the Queen's house. After the race ended, we wandered through Hyde Park and then slipped into a pub.  The day was a scorcher, so Ste and I had a sit outside on some barriers and watched London gradually return to normality.  And by that, I mean the cars reappearing on streets that had been closed to them.

Walking home led me through Chelsea, across the Albert Bridge and into Battersea Park.  The evening was beautiful - London has a big sky when you're in the mddle of the river and the evening light gave the place a soft light I would never have expected.  Wonderous.
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Ste wiping the remains of a pasty …
Ste wiping the remains of a pasty…
Gendarmes in England - apparently …
Gendarmes in England - apparently…
Walking home across the Albert Bri…
Walking home across the Albert Br…
Some Tour de France geezer
Some Tour de France geezer
photo by: ulysses