Wednesday, November 14, 2012

100 things: Greenwich Foot Tunnel

There is something quite peculiar about walking underneath a river - much more so than driving or travelling on the tube. I'm not totally sure I knew much about the Thames foot tunnels - I think there are only two in use, at Greenwich and Woolwich - before I looked up a cycling route to Canary Wharf from my flat in SE London the other day, and saw that Google showed it going straight across the river from the Cutty Sark to the Isle of Dogs where I was fairly sure there wasn't a bridge. I've been under it a couple of times since (hence the night and day time photos). Lots of commuting cyclists use it, a large percentage admirably kitted out in reflective jackets, proper cycling clothes, multiple flashing lights, bullet proof helmets etc (only a slight exaggeration) absolutely putting me to shame. I won't go into details of what I count as bike equipment at the moment, I would only get shouted at. The tunnel and lifts are open 24 hours a day and especially at peak hours it feels pretty busy and perfectly safe, though I'm not sure I'd feel totally comfortable walking through on my own at quiet times.

Also definitely worth a visit if you live anywhere near there on either side of the bank is the Old Fire Station near Island Gardens DLR station. I, like a complete snob, assumed there wouldn't be much in the way of decent eateries in that area and was proved completely wrong when we discovered this wonderful Mediterranean bistro with decorations made of reclaimed picture frames and a wine bottles ceiling light. We had a selection of tapas, which came beautifully presented, reasonable portions for the small cost, and everything tasted delicious and was perfectly cooked. Our waitress was new but we were introduced to her by the manager, who checked we didn't mind being her test case, and kept an eye on us throughout the evening. All the staff were perfectly charming - highly recommended and not too expensive.

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