Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thames Festival

As I mentioned in my last post, on Sunday Jon and I traipsed out to the Thames Festival, a celebration of the end of summer and of London held on the banks of (shockingly enough) the Thames.  Actually, it was a family outing - John and Sam came, too.  Here we are - from left to right, John, Sam, me, and Jon.

The festival was packed.  I read somewhere that hundreds of thousands of people attended over the two days.  Hundreds of thousands.  Yikes!  And, honestly, if Jon hadn't told us all about it and encouraged us to go, I probably wouldn't even have noticed it was happening.  Makes you wonder (well, makes me wonder) what else is going on in London under the radar!

Anyway, we mostly stuck to the South Bank.  The promenade was lined with stalls - food vendors (we got crèpes, nom) and tschotske-sellers and bars and, wherever there were open areas, musical acts and activities for kids.  One of the coolest sections was in front of Tate Modern, where a huge stage and dance floor had been set up for swing music.  People were really into it and had dressed up in character for the music and were bopping away.  'Twas very fun!

We walked across the Millennium Bridge just in time to catch the sunset - it was a brilliant gorgeous smoldering orange.

After a pub dinner, we followed the parade - yes, there was a parade - back across the river to the South Bank for prime fireworks viewing.  What, you didn't know about the fireworks?  Best part of the evening!  Truly spectacular, very impressive.  Also, it was very sweet to hear all of these city-hardened and jaded Londoners oohing and aahing over the display.  I took a video of the finale for you - pardon the bad camerawork, but enjoy!

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