But while we were away over Christmas with our family the call of the waterways got too much and we had a day out with Ian's brother and sister-in-law travelling by bus, cable car, DLR, and ferry.
It was a good day, if a bit cold. The new cable car crossing from the Greenwich Peninsula close to the O2 arena and is sponsored by Emirates Airline so our journey was considered a flight!
the vital statistics
eastwards to Thames Barrier
O2 or Millennium Dome
coming in to land over the Royal Docks
Once on the other side we had a look around the exhibition at The Crystal, London’s newest landmark building and the world’s first centre dedicated to improving our knowledge of urban sustainability.
Then it was a trip on the Docklands Light Railway back to North Woolwich to catch the 'Free Ferry' back to the south side.
darkness falls on the ferry dock
A ferry service has operated across the river at Woolwich since the 14th century and from the early 1800's three paddle steamers were in operation with a lot of traffic making the journey tothe Royal Arsenal on the south side. In 1889 the free ferry service was officially opened, as instigated by Sir Joseph Bazalgette. The three ferries now in operation have been running since 1963.Ian's dad was very fond of the Woolwich ferries and often told stories of his journey across the river on the old steam boats, lost in wonder down in the engine rooms, then coming out only to find himself back where he started from! And the boys remember trips from their childhood as well. Sadly it would seem there are plans that might take this crossing away from Woolwich, and no doubt lose the 'free' element too.
Edited to add:
Steve from narrowboat Albert sent this link to his blog and their trip on the cable car over Christmas too.