The Things You Learn on a London Speed Boat…

Did you know… the London Eye’s pods/capsules each represent a London borough. Do you know how many boroughs there are? 32.

Did you know… Cleopatra’s Needle has two Sphinx on either side to guard it… but they’re facing toward the needle, which is the wrong way. A Sphinx is meant to face away (makes sense, if they’re guarding they should know where the danger is coming from!)

On the topic of Cleopatra’s Needle – it has no connection with Cleopatra, already being over 1000 years old when she was alive.

Did you know… the Millenium Dome – now called the o2, but I prefer the original non-advertising name – has 12 orange spikes, representing the 12 months in a year.

Did you know… (this one’s good!) there was a bus driver named Albert who was driving a London bus (predictably) over Tower Bridge. Something went wrong and he wasn’t alerted that the bridge was now coming UP. Instead of stopping and reversing, the crazy man decided to step on the gas to make it over the gap to the other side of the bridge. And guess what? He did it. He landed on the other side with no major injuries to himself or the other passengers. What’s more, he actually got awarded for bravery. Mental.

Ok, so maybe I should interject here to give more context. I went powerboating on the River Thames last week, much to my excitement. It was fast, top cheesy tunes were played (think James Bond and Pirates of the Caribbean theme tunes, London’s Calling, Don’t Stop Me Now, and even… Titanic. Oh, my.) and the driver swerved us almost vertical (well, it felt pretty vertical).

It was all pretty exhilarating, and by the end nobody’s hair was suitable to be allowed out in public.

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But the thing that actually surprised me was the quirky few facts I got about London while in the part of the River that has speed restrictions. To the point that I thought “Noooo, that can’t be true – I should have known that, I’m FROM London!” Alas – I did not know a thing.

Shall I continue…?

Did you know… on Blackfriars Bridge, one side has carvings of river, freshwater birds like herons. The other side has seawater bird carvings like a seagull, signifying the tidal turning point of Blackfriars.

Have you ever noticed… how one bridge by the Houses of Parliament is green and another red? This is no coincidence. Westerminster Bridge is green, reflecting the green seats of the House of Commons. Lambeth Bridge is red, reflecting – you guessed it – the colour of seats in the House of Lords.

Well. How about that.

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2 Comments

  • Deborah says:

    Great tidbits of information. I’ve never been to London, but I still enjoyed all the “did you know’s.” Great photos, especially the one where you pretend to be terrified. LOL

  • Ayla says:

    Hahaha love the picture of you! Very much looking forward to doing this in a couple of weeks :)

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