Tower Bridge…

and the Tower of London.

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Along with Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, the Tower Bridge tops Great Britain’s list of architectural icons that make up London’s distinctive skyline. While not the first bridge to span the Thames, Tower Bridge is the most recognizable and is often mistakenly referred to as “London Bridge.” While Tower Bridge is one of the world’s most famous bridges, few know its rich history.

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During its original construction, Tower Bridge was considered the most impressive and advanced of bascule bridges. At the time, the hydraulics used to open the bridge were powered by steam yet still able to complete the feat within one minute. In 1976, the steam-powered pumping engines were replaced by ones powered by electricity and oil.

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Tower Bridge is the only bridge on the Thames that can be raised and lowered to allow ships to pass. Supposedly, witnessing the Tower Bridge opening brings good luck because it’s such a rare occurrence. Visitors can ensure their luck by checking the Bridge Lift Times on the official Tower Bridge website.

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For many, the famous nursery rhyme “London Bridge is Falling Down” conjures up images of the Tower Bridge. These individuals assume the rhyme refers to the raising and lowering of the bridge, but they are mistaken. The real London Bridge was located approximately a mile to the west of where Tower Bridge was constructed.
Throughout the centuries, a number of bridges have been constructed on the site of the actual London Bridge, some of which did fall into disrepair before being replaced. One of these bridges was sold to an American entrepreneur by the name of Robert P. McCulloch in 1968. McCulloch reconstructed the bridge as a tourist attraction in the desert city of Lake Havasu, Arizona.

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The Tower of London has a rich and brutal history. You can read all about it on links at this page and others.

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The Crown Jewels are housed at the Tower of London. You can read about the history and meaning behind many of the jewels here.

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Today Katie and I are on the road to that foreign country to our North! We love to use our passports. We’re having quite a cold snap here and I hope our trip will be without snow. We are looking forward to being at Lepp Farm Market in Abbotsford ringing in the season with our Old Fashioned Cookie class. I guess we’ll need to choose a couple of our favorite Christmas Cd’s to enjoy on the road.

It’s a Christmas miracle at this old house. I mailed all my Christmas cards yesterday and now I feel I can relax for the rest of this week until we pick up our tree on Sunday! What do you like to see behind you during this busy time of year?