March 12, 2006

Thames Tunnel Tour

Based on Annie Mole's (London Underground BLOG) recommendation, we made the long trek from Kew Gardens to Rotherhithe station for the Thames Tunnel Tour sponsored by the Brunel Engine House Museum. We were 10 minutes late in getting to Rotherhithe but just as we were getting off at Rotherhithe, the tour group was getting on the same train and we joined them. We were never introduced to the tour guide (should have been Robert Hulse per Annie's BLOG) but he was VERY enthusiastic about the amazing contributions and sacrifices made by Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The guide said he was from Rotherhithe where he grew up thinking Brunel rhymed with tunnel. The highlight of the tour was when the guide convinced the tube driver to drive very slowly through the tunnel from Wapping to Rotherhithe so we could admire the arches. We ended at the Brunel Engine House museum which is small but very well done.

After I bought my requisite postcard, we set off to explore the area. It was quiet, gentrified, COLD. We quickly moved to the historic Mayflower pub but it was packed with no available tables. Alas, we had to go home and ponder what life would have been like in Rotherhithe (only 12 minute commute to Waterloo) instead of Kew Gardens (always have to give ourselves an hour).

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